Essential Construction at Monmouth to be Completed in Time for Opening: Plant is 90 Pct. Completed; Work on Grandstand Will be Finished some Time Today, Daily Racing Form, 1946-06-18


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Essential Construction at Monmouth To Be Completed in Time for Opening Plant Is 90 Pet Completed; Work on Grandstand Will Be Finished Some Time Today MONMOUTH PARK, Oceanport, N. J., June 17. Monmouth Parks transition from a discouraging site that contained a bewildering assortment of building materials, construction equipment, scaffolding, naked steel girders and muddy, unkempt fields, to a racing plant that is 90 per cent complete, borders on the miraculous. Any doubt that the new course would be ready for Wednesdays opening was dispelled after a tour of inspection yesterday, when the Monmouth Park Jockey Club played host to 50 querulous turf writers who came, saw and, for the most part, were conquered. The grandstand, which had no roof only 10 days ago and only half of the steel beams which would hold the roof in place-was almost entirely covered and work on it will be completed at least a day before the bugler calls the feild to the post for the opening race of the meeting. All of the 8,200 grandstand seats have been installed and their placing is a tribute to the managements interest in the comfort of Monmouth Park visitors. There is sufficient space between each row to enable fans to come and go without disturbing those already seated. The clubhouse is merely a mass of brick and girders at the moment but it is rapidly taking shape and the construction engineers are certain that it, too, will be complete about 10 days after the meeting gets under way. While the strip itself was none too promising about 10 days ago, horses are already training over it and dockers and horsemen, generally difficult to satisfy, give it their whole-hearted approval. One veteran split-second man who was asked for his opinion had this to say: "Its a good, safe springy srip. I think it will be fast on opening day and will get faster as horses race over it and pack it. In my opinion, running times will be comparable to those at Jamaica." The 14-stall red brick paddock, with a laboratory on the south end for taking saliva tests, is ready, as is the walking ring, a tanbarklane which is 40 feet in diameter. Totalisator Installed n promenades, including the area separating the grandstand from the running strip, have been rolled and covered with asphalt and the parking section, covering approximately 150,000 Square yards, is ready for the approximately 4,000 automobiles expected here on opening day. The myriads of wires necessary for the successful operation of the totalisator have been installed and tests of the odds-boards located in the centerfield and in various ; parts of the grandstand indicate that this extremely important operation will proceed without a hitch on Wednesday. Mark Lilenthal, who designed the new track, has no apprehensions about the plant being ready for racing on opening day, barring, of course, a downpour of torrential proportions in the interim. He is the engineer responsible for Narragansett Park and Suffolk Downs and the reconstruction of Rockingham Park. "It will not be a finished product for the opening," he said, "but the public unveiling will surprise the skeptics." Asked what percentage of the construction remains to be done, he replied: "Let me express it in terms of money. I would say that less than 10 per cent of the construction work remains to be done. Dont let the rough appearance at the moment mislead you. I am less concerned about having this track ready than I was about Suffolk Downs and Narragansett Park at the same period before they opened. "We won close races against time at Boston and Pawtucket. I think Narragansett Park represents a construction feat never equaled, even during the war, when huge projects were completed almost overnight. Narragansett Park was built in 60 calendar days and Suffolk Downs in 72. "Three days before they opened the unbelievers were betting against it. They were close calls, but we made it. At Narragansett heavy equipment was being moved off the grounds as the field for the first race was called to the post. We will proceed at full speed here right up to race time, and the work will not come to a standstill even while the races are being run. "At the peak of employment we had 1,300 men, all crafts included, at work. Today 1 : 100 are on the job. After Wednesday we will have about 400 employed completing the plant. "We are concentrating now on the grandstand, although work on the clubhouse is going forward steadily. At noon Wednesday we will take the men off the grandstand job, but the clubhouse construction will continue during racing hours. I do not hope to have the clubhouse ready for another 10 days, but the lower parts of that structure could be opened on Wednesday should it be necessary to provide vantage points for an overflow crowd."

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