Chicagos Greatest Event: American Derby Foremost of All Local Sporting Attractions, Daily Racing Form, 1922-12-21


view raw text

CHICAGOS GREATEST EVENT i American Derby Foremost of All I Local Sporting Attractions. v Nothing In Modern Life of City Compares n to Derhy Day of Old Glories of b Washington Park Recalled. 1 o of a f; There is nothing in the modern life of Chicago to compare to the American Derby; n there is no event of the present day that n combines all of the features or presents half of the color of Derby day; there is no mod- s em counterpart that brings together the r cosmopolitan crowd that used to llock to Y Washington Park. j The above statements are not the -words of a press agent for a race track, nor the exuberant utterance of an enthusiastic ad- j mirer of the thoroughbred and the great c sport of racing. They are cold facts, as a a majority of Chicago business men acquainted t with conditions of twenty years ago will r Vouch for and which Harry M. Beardsley, writing in the Daily News on the develop- s ment of Chicagos business and residential " centers, -jails attention to just at a time i when vhere is great hope expressed of an i early revival of that famous race, the Ameri- can Derby. Air. Beardsley says: Twenty years ago, the entire tract bounded by filst and 63rd streets. Cottage Grove and South Park avenues, was oc-cupied by the Washington Park Race track. i clubhouse, grandstand and stables. The block bounded by Cist and GOth streets, Cottage Grove and Langley avenues, was occupied by San Souci Amusement Park. "In those days, the American Derby, the , annual outstanding race of the American : turf, was run at Washington Park. "Derby Day" -was the biggest sport day of the year in Chicago. There is no event in modern Chicago life that corresponds to it. The , opening night of the opera has supplanted . it as a society and fashion display occasion; a worlds series baseball game or an inter-sectional I football clash might come near it " as a sporting spectacle; or it might be compared to the Pageant of Progress from the standpoint of "Boost Chicago" publicity ; i but there is no event that combines all of the features or presents half of the color of Derby Day. There is no modern counterpart that brings together the cosmopolitan crowd that, used to llock to Washington 1 Park. EVERYBODY OWXIiD A HORSE THEN. . "In that era everybody who was anybody 7 owned a horse, or several horses. The tine mansions in Forrestville and along Grand boulevard had ornate stables at the rear. Society drove to the races in coaches, tally-hos, " traps, tandems and four-in-hands were 0 the smart thing. On Sundays, society spun 3 i down the avenue behind a pair of "Spanking " grays. j I "Those south siders who could not afford 4 the upkeep of an equippage were apt to 0 spend part of Sunday at San Souci, sitting beneath the trees, drinking such liquids as s were permitted by the laws of that time and 3 watching Signor Creatore dislocate his ver-tabrae conducting his band through the intricacies " of Poet and Peasant or 1812. "Today the old race track is solidly built lt up with apartments and residences. The ? Cottage Grove frontage of the old San Souci site is improved with a ballroom and a string s of automobile showrooms. Farther south. Cottage Grove avenue becomes Saxophone e Lane, an avenue lined with ballrooms, cabarets and palaces dedicated to the art of f flickering films. . "There are probably children in their !e teens, born and reared on the site of the triumphs of Diek Welles, Rag Tag, Alan-a-dale and other famous horses, who have never been astride a horse or ridden in a horse-drawn vehicle." May the day be not far distant when the American Derby is once more restored to to its former glory.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1922122101_12_1
Library of Congress Record: