Activity at Aurora: Finishing Touches on Newly Constructed Course Being Rushed, Daily Racing Form, 1924-09-05


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ACTIVITY AT AURORA Finishing Touches On Newly Constructed Course Being Rushed. . Nothing Left Undone to -Make It One of Modern Tracks- Plenty Good Horses for Meeting, i : AURORA, 111. Sept. 4. Feverish activity was the order Thursday at the Aurora Exposition- Park where final details in connection with the reconstruction of the track to bring it up to mile regulation is in progress. The racng strip has been finished and at present the attention of the contractors, engineers and army of workmen with their great numbers of teams and implements are directed in cutting down a hill near the three-eighths post which obstructs vision from the stand of the horses in action for a brief poriod. The work of removal of the hill will be completed tomorrow morning for the big working force have been at their labors night and day for the last seventy-two hours. The new paddock, jockey room and offices have been paterned on the most modern lines and no expense . has . been spared in their construction. Other improvements added to the former half mile , track and spacious plant has been proportionate and the Aurora track will in time be regarded as one of the best and most modern in tho West Illustrating that the promoters are intent on making the Aurora course a leading one in the West, is evident in the fact that they have spent in excess of 50,000 in their reconstruction work. To this will be added during the winter for other construction work and as the Fair Grounds and former appointments were listed at a million dolra asset it can readily be seen that the Aurora project is a costly one. LONG STRETCHES AND TURNS. The racing strip will be unlike other racing courses in that it has extremely long stretches and short turns. The straightaways are approximately five-sixteenths from the stretch turn to the finish and on the backstretch it is nearly seven-sixteenths from turn to turn. The-home stretch is eighty feet wide and the backstretch seventy feet. The grand stand has an enormous seating capacity but haying been built originally with no thoroughbred racing in mind other than usually held over half mile tracks by Fair associations, it does not measure up to thoroughbred racing requirements. It will, however, require little alteration to bring it to a state of perfection. Track superintendent John Keegan, who has been zealously working to have the constructive efforts of the big working force 1 perfect, is enthusiastic with the accomplisn-! ments. Ho is particularly enthused with the racing strip and hopes that it will be the fastest racing ground in the. country. "It will be a second Harlem," said Keegan. "Ill venture the further prediction that the three-quarters races will be exceptionally fast and that . a. good horse will have little trouble establishing an American record for the distance." Keegan is an experienced man with tracks, having been the track superintendent at La-tonia for years also at the Kentucky Association course at Lexington and put in many improvements at both these tracks. EXPERIMENTAL VENTURE. The present Aurora venture is still an experimental one. The Fox Valley Business Mens Association was emboldened by the success of Hawthorne, in their announcement of a twenty-five days race meeting for this fall. Their announcement came late ana with the announcement came decision to enlarge the former half mile track to a mile racing strip and also to build appointments in keeping with the ambitious plans of. the management. It did not seem possible that the work could be completed in time for the opening of the meeting, September G, but by rushing the work day and night It has been accomplished and it really shows determination of the promoters to put the project over big. During the last few days there has been a change in plans by several owners and in-. stead of shipping to Canada, Kentucky and I Ohio tracks they have decided on racing l their strings at Aurora. The result of this i has been to add to the number of racing I material that will be available and approximately 400 horses will be at the track ready to race. The field limit in all races will be held down to twelve, with six races the order daily. There might be a shortage of jockeys, at least of the better grade, but the same held true of Hawthorne and other tracks. There will be some fairly good horses at times to engage in the more pretentious races and include the consistent Sanola, which had nine 1 victories to her credit during the Hawthorne ; meeting. The Runt, which bravely contested with Sanola in her more important Haw- Continued on second page. ACTIVITY AT AURORA Continued from first page. thorne victories, will also be a starter at Aurcra and win his share of the purse money. Probably the best two-year-old filly in this country will also be among the starters at Aurora. This is Rockland Princess, which won consistently at Hawthorne and numbered among those she defeated with ease the J. N. Camden crack, Pas Seul, which recently finished second in the Hopeful Stakes. General manager Charles Ford has been untiring in his desire to bring here the best racing officials that could be obtained. He ihas made it patent that he aims at a high-class race meeting that will in every way assist in restoring racing on the highest plane in Illinois and is sanguine that his efforts will be appreciated and with this in view arrangements have been fully completed for the reception of an immense crowd next Saturday, the opening day. The big men of Aurora are taking an active interest; it is their enterprise, but Chicago-ans are also manifesting an immense amount of interest in the coming meeting. After all it can be regarded as a "home institution" by Chicagoans for the train service from ono of the main railroad stations direct to tno Aurora grandstand will only take up an hour and fifteen minutes of running time.. The same schedule will be maintained by the special trains in bringing the racing crowds back to Chcago from the track. The Aurora track is also accessible to Chicagoans who desire to go by motor over two of the State highways. The distance is about thirty-five miles. There seems to be a wholesome desire to co-operate on the part of horsemen and others to make the project a romplete success and the interest in the meeting is mounting steadily. Several of the big operators who departed for New York have announced intention of returning for the racing at Aurora and many who quoted odds during Hawthorne are still in these parts and will be among the operators at the Aurora opening. Walter Gunnison, who had charge of tho information bureau at Hawthorne, will be in charge at Aurora and has already listed more than fifty, who have signified their intention of quoting odds at Aurora on the opening day. "Gene" Austin will make prices for the ring.

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