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HAVANAS BANNER MEETING First Weeks Racing Justifies the Most Optimistic Predictions. : Attendance, Speculation and General Interest Greater Than Ever Before. HAVANA. Cuba, December 7. The first week of Ihe iinniiiil winter season of racing at Oriental Park lias passed into history, and the result justifies the prediction made by the clubs officials in advance that the season would prove easily to be the most brilliant and successful of the five that have preceded it. It would appear that John .T. Mc-Graw and Charles A. Stoneham. who headed the syndicate that purchased the track a few months ago, made no mistake. As a matter of fact, they are hound to realize handsomely on their timely investment. They clearly foresaw that Cuba was rapidly coming to the front as a winter resort for wealthy Americans in seareli of a salubrious .climate, and a place where racing and other outdoor sports can be indulged in to their hearts content, and realising these advantages Messrs. Mc-Graw and Stonehnin are arranging plans to bring the island into still greater prominence. Mr. McGraw believes thnt as a spring training ground for baseball clubs Havana offers exceptional advantages, and in all likelihood he will decide to have the New York Nationals train here next spring. He 1ms also been interesting the owners of other major league clubs in the project, with the result thnt several may elect to send their teams here next spring. The. splendid attendance at the track last Sunday; which ill numbers exceeded all previous figures, and which included the high officials of the Cuban government and prominent people in the professional, nmmerelnl and social life of the capital, was most gratifying to the clubs officials, and indicated that the rapidly growing popularity of racing in Cuba, lias at last secured a strong foothold and is firmly implanted in the esteem of lovers of clean and healthful outdoor sport. The increase in the number of racing establishments owned by Cubans this year is another happy augury for the future of the sport. The example set by Senor A. H. Diaz, who was the first native of the island to embark in racing, is being followed by other men of wealth, who have acquired stables since last year, and their ranks are being augmented as the meeting progresses, Besides these there are a number of Americans doing business in Havana who have em-harked in tin sport as owners. From every viewpoint racing is in a most healthy condition in Cuba, and with the best citizens being identified with and patroniziug the Mort its future is assured. CUBAN STABLES STRENGTHENED. The Armonia Stable, owned by S. Tolon and A. Fernandez, both wealthy sugar planters, has recently strengthened its already large establishment by the purchase of two of the richly-bred yearlings that J. W. Pangle brought here for Harry Iayne Whitney. One of the number is by Peter Pan Tree Dove, and the other a daughter if All Cold and Slippers, the latter the dam of Comfort, which won frequently last winter in the eolors of A. H. Diaz, l.nusual interest is eing taken by the Cuban turfmen in Mr. Whitneys youngsters, and negotiations are now under way for the purchase of several more. There is a good-iltltured rivalry between Senor Diaz and the owners if the Armonia Stable, and the latter are anxious to strengthen their establishment to bring it on a par with that of their rival, whose stable embraces twelve yearlings, and in this resect is not equaled by that of any other Cuban-owned stable. As was the custom in former years both the books and mtituels are again catering to the wants of the speculatively inclined. The mutuols appear to have the call with the public, but the books are also well patronized. The play in th machines tills year shows a decided advance over a like period last year and is bound to assume even greater proportions iis the season progresses. This is obviously due to the increased attendance and the fact that this svstem of betting grows in favor wherever it is installed. Fortunately for the sport there can lie no interference on the part of the authorities with hefting. According to Cuban law it is legal to wager on athletic and other sports and such bets win lie legally collected. The list of American visitors thus early in the season is a lengthy one and includes many of prominence. E. It. Thomas of New York and Irwin Kirk--wood, oue of the proprietors of the Kansas City Star, are among the number. K. B. Meloan, the Washington and Cincinnati newspaper owner, is expected with his family for an extended visit. Harry Payne Whitney is also among the expected visitors.