Beautiful Oriental Park: Now One of the Finest Racing Grounds in the World, Daily Racing Form, 1919-12-07


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BEAUTIFUL ORIENTAL PARK : , . 1 Now One of the Finest Racing Grounds in the World. Plant Embellished by Profusion of Trees, Shrubbery and Flower Beds. i . -1 ; ;:l.:lu3j BY T. K. LYNCn. ,. . . HAVANA, Cuba, .December T. The Cuba-American Jockey and Auto Club has reason to be proud of its opening at Oriental Park here last week. The attendance exceeded the anticipations of the management and each succeeding day has shown an increased attendance over any previous year. Wonderful work has been done in the way of improving and beautifying the park since last spriug and it would lie a hard matter to pick a flaw in the plant if one were iu a fault-finding humor. Progress on the work in building the addition to the clubhouse has been delayed on account of lack of material and this part of the construction will probably be passed over until the conclusion of the present meeting, The track proper is in splendid condition and if some of the other winter courses possessed as fine a track as is here it would be wortli its weight iu gold to thorn. Oriental Park is undoubtedly one of the finest racing grounds in the world. This is a pretty broad statement, but it is true nevertheless. The entire plant was repainted during the summer, which makes the second coat of paint it lias had in the last two, .years. Additional stables were erected and thousands of ornamental trees-, -rose bushes, shrubbery- and palms of all sorts were planted during the past six months. The orange .grove, which was put in just below tiie paddock some few years back, is now in full bearing and this part of the inclosure has been laid out in walks, with flower beds scattered promisculously about the grounds. The approach to the park via the automobile entrance is a sight long to be remembered by those visiting Oriental Park for the first time. There is nothing nearly like it iu the States. It is sort of an esplanade, beautiful flower-beds in the middle and the two outside roads lined by tall, stately palms which have grown to a height of thirty or forty feet. The place. is certainly beautiful and is a monument to its builder, II. I. Rrown. one of the most progressive men in race track construction in America. There are many new faces here this winter and this was to be expected with the passing of control in the club to Messrs. Charles A. Stoneham and John J. McGr.iw. Roth of these gentlemen have been here taking an active part in affairs and both are well pleased witli their new venture. They have every reason to be, as the outlook is most flattering. Mr. Stoneham has taken a house in Marianao, close to the park, while Mr. and. Mrs. MeGraw are domiciled at the Country Club, hack of Camp Columbia. Both Mr. Stoneham and Mr. MeGraw have departed for New York to attend a meeting of the directors of the New York Rascball Club. They will return later on to remain for an indefinite stay. SAME STAFP OF OFFICIALS. The staff of officials here this winter is practically the same as were here last year. The excep-, tion is J. S, Wallace, who is acting as piitrol judge for the first time. There is still room for a few more horses and it may bo that if New Orleans is overcrowded that some of the horsemen racing there may elect to ship over to Cuba. If they come they will not he disappinted, as racing here is conducted under most ideal conditions. The added money to all of the overnight purses and stakes has been increased and first money iu some of the races is equivalent to the value of the horses that win tliem. The usual run of horsemen lack business instinct and were they as shrewd in their line as a majority of business men are they would be quick to seize the opportunity of racing here and this place would be packed. Racing in Cuba is going ahead with such rapid strides and the volume of business increasing to such an extent that it is no idle prediction to say that iu a short time the meetings at Oriental Park will be the greatest ever given at any winter racing plant. One has only to consider the stringent passport conditions and lack of American patronage to arrive at this conclusion. When conditions again become normal and the flow of tourists comes this way, there will not be hotels enough in Havana to accommodate the visitors. Speaking of hotels, the Riltmore people have taken over the old Sevilla and the building lias been thoroughly overhauled and work on refurnishing the place is being rushed along witli the hope that it will be ready by the end of the month. An addition of 400 rooms will be added to a wing which will run back to the Prado and when completed this will be the main entrance to the hotel. Two or three other hotels are to be built here and by next season Havana will be well prepared to look after the comfort of the tourists. Speculation here this winter has been quite keen. Cuba was never so prosperous and money appears plentiful. Seventeen bookmakers- and the full battery of niutuel machines have been iu operation since the opening day. Ronkmaking here is conducted In the old style, with booths and slates. At a recent meeting of the stockholders Charles A. Stoneham and John J. MeGraw were elected directors of the club, the other members being II. I. Rrown, II. W. Royer and F. J. Rruen.

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