Start Made at St. Louis: Organization Formed for Revival of Thoroughbred Racing, Daily Racing Form, 1924-06-27


view raw text

START MADE AT ST. LOUIS Organization Formed for RevivaL of Thoroughbred Racing. Prominent Men of Mound City Behind Movement to Bring Back Sport That Flourished There Years Ago. The movement to revive" horse racing in St, Louis where twenty years ago it flourished was made the subject of discussiqn and organization at a dinner at Hotel Chase, in that city Tuesday night, attended by about 100 persons, many of them prominent in the civic and commercial life of the city. The dinner and resultant organization was the outgrowth of a petition, circulated three years ago, asking the legislature to grant legislation which would justify a permanent St. Louis exposition of agriculture, to cost in installation more than ,000,000, and which would depend on racing receipts as a certain source of revenue to guarantee the venture. The petition bore the names of about 300 persons bankers, business men, publishers, civic leaders and others. Incidentally, the law was passed and then vetoed by Governor Hyde. The law would have made possible, in the opinion of its authors, the recording of a bet by the peri-mutuel system of race track betting, as carried out at many tracks. But Tuesday night, as was brought out by Judge Joseph A. Murphy, the well-known racing official, prime mover in the plan to revive racing even this systematized plan of betting is not a requisite to the conduct of commercially successful racing. "Racing, without some betting would bo like Hamlet without the ghost," Murphy told the diners. "But it does not follow that gambling is the primary appeal of racing its psychology is far deeper. New York and Louisiana laws both condemn race track gambling, yet racing is successfully conducted in both states. Gov. Folk went three times to the Missouri legislature . with repressive laws relating to racing, but never asked for a law against betting." Murphy then related, as has been published, the recent action of the Missouri supreme court in holding that "it is the recording or registering of an actual bet or wager," which constitutes a violation of the statutes. The quoted language was returned by the court in sustaining a demurrer to an information brought against a bettor in connection with the meet conducted by the Crevee Coeur Driving Club in April, 1923. This construction would permit gambling, Murphy inferred, if conducteed as an incident to the entertainment, and he pledged himself, that if given a track of size and surroundings commensurate with the "new St. Louis" that he would guarantee "the best horses in the country and a management and conduct which would meet the acid test." W. Frank Carter, who as president of the Chamber of Commerce two years ago appointed a special committee to foster the St. Louis Exposition enterprise, spoke on the moral aspects of the gambling evil, incident to racing. "The lines have been so narrowed by reformers," he asserted, "and I use the word in no offensive sense, that I feel a halt must be called. Morals cannot be molded by legislators, but by the moral, Christian training of the home. I feel that if we are to have a well-rounded citizenship, we must learn to face and control ourselves under conditions of temptation. "We want good, clean racing in St, Louis. We want it not only for our own entertainment, but for others. "When I recall that forty special trains carried visitors to a Kentucky city a few weeks ago to see one race, I need not dwell on what a racing meeting would do for St. Louis." Rolla Wells, Worlds Fair mayor of St. Louis and now receiver of the United Railways, recalled the traditions of the old St. Louis Fair Grounds. "Wc look with great pride on our municipal opera," he declared, "and it is a thing to be proud of. But I urge you to revive the spirit of the bid Fair Grounds, and I subscribe privately and quasi-publicly to a movement which has that in purpose." Other prominent men who pledged their support to this newly formed organization, included J. L. Johnson, president of the Liberty-Central Trust Co. ; James A. Houchen, Philip Brockman, August A, Busch, A. L. Shopleigh, H. "Wade Childress, A, G. Stifel and A. W. Johnson.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1924062701_12_4
Library of Congress Record: