Here and There on the Turf: Concerning Conflicting Racing.; Cost of a Race Track.; Washington Parks Example., Daily Racing Form, 1923-02-01


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Here and There on the Turf Concerning Conflicting Rac ¬ ing ingCost Cost of a Eace Track Washington Parks Example It has been suggested down East that in the event of a Hawthorne spring meeting taking place as it will care should be taken to avoid a conflict of dates with Churchill Downs or Latonia Carried to its logical conclusion this suggestion would mean there should be no Hawthorne spring meeting meetingIf If Chicago lacing is restored to its former high estate as it may be clashing dates will b = inevitable Then Chicago racin will lead all in the West and concede 110 precedence lo any racing in the East Nor will such clash ¬ ing be in any just sense objectionable Con ¬ flicts in dates of deciding great races as in the case of the Kentucky Derby and Prck ness Stakes last year are to be deploreJ ami avoided But expansoi of the turf involves carrying on racing simultaneously in differ ¬ ent cities which is as it should be It will throw upon each community interested the burden of supporting its own racing If any of them cannot do that they deserve no rac ¬ ing But there need be no fear that the re establishment of racing in such superior cities as Chicago and St Louis will operate preju ¬ dicially to Kentucky racing Chicago wiD continue to send its thousands to swell Ken ¬ tucky Derby day revenues as it has in the past Undoubtedly the entry of the two big cities in western racing will call for adjust ¬ ments here and there to meet the requirements of the new situation They will be made amicably amicablyTime Time was and not so far back when con ¬ flicting dates were common The files of Daily Racing Form will disclose a time when six seven or eight meetings were in progress at the same time in this country with the vari ¬ ous racing bodies flourishing and getting along to their own satisfaction and the approval of the communities they provided with pleasing open air diversion There are now millions more people to furnish their quota in support of racing than were then in the United States and conflicts in racing dates will be of less importance than was the case then Financing the construction of a race track and its appropriate buildings means the out ¬ lay of much more money than it did when the Washington Park Club ordered the purchasing and building of its famous track Land costs more building materials and labor arc vastly higher in fact costs of all kind are greatly in ¬ creased Still compared with other enter ¬ prises of the day the million or more required seems puny Right now in Chicago several hotels one to take the place of the Stratford beloved of eldtime turfmen when it was the Leland are to be built presently at a cost of 5000000 and over quite sufficient to pay for several new race tracks People are so used to monstrous enterprises that the announcement of the coming of such costly hotels causes scarcely a ripple of passing interest In this state of affairs there should be no especial dif ¬ ficulty about raising sufficient money to furnish 1 Chicago with the finest race track in the United j States especially as it may turn out a vastly v profitable enterprise The Washington Park Club numbered in its membership nearly all the wealthy and pro ¬ gressive men of the day in Chicago The place selected for their track and club was then a marsh and a place favored by duck hunters It had to be filled in for from fifteen to twenty feet with soil brought principally from Indiana The capital stock was put at 250000 and was subscribed for by the members as money was required Of the total 17000 was never issued and was in the clubs treasury when it was decided to dissolve and sell the grounds After the work had gone on to a point the track was bonded for 400000 The proceeds of the bonds and stock proved sufficient for all needs No dividend on the stock was ever paid until the profits from racing sufficient to pay off and retire the bonds had piled up Then the dividends were a plenty and a 100 share of Washington Park stock could not be had for love nor money There are many points of interest in Washington Park history but none more so tlxan the methods by which the erection of its track and buildings were financed financedAll All of which is a lesson from the past

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