Illinois Harness Season Opens at Maywood Park: Two-Section Inaugural Pace Scheduled in Two Divisions, Daily Racing Form, 1950-05-05


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Illinois Harness Season Opens at* Maywood Park Two-Section Inaugural Pace Scheduled in Two Divisions The 1950 harness racing season in Illinois, the longest in history of the sport since it was inaugurated with pari-mutuel wagering in 1946, opens this evening at Maywood Park, with an excelent nine-race program. Post time tonight and every night at the North Avenue and River Road plant will be 8:30. After a 60-night run at the spic and span Maywood plant, which again has undergone considerable improvements since its meeting last fall, the trotters and pacers will shift to Sportsmans Park, the West Side course, where the Chicago Downs Association will conduct its second meeting. Chicago Downs came into the harness picture last season after the passage of a law by the legislature in Springfield, which permits the use of a running track for a harness meeting when the runners are performing elsewhere. Featuring tonights opening bill will be the Inaugural Pace, a two-section event, each of which will be run in two divisions. Thus there will be four parts to the Inaugural, which carries a ,250 divided purse. The fifth and eighth races comprise the first division of the feature, with the sixth and ninth, the second. Eight horses will contest each. The distances are a mile and a mile and a sixteenth. Several Maywood favorites of last season will be under colors in the first division of the Inaugural, the fifth and eighth events! Among these is Dr. M. S. Nelsons Victory Grattan, one who racked up four straight victories here last fall. George Rattenbury will do the driving. The nine-year-old son of Dominion Grattan— Miss Mildred Palm n., usually breaks in the first flight and after that the field has to catch her, a circumstance that few were able to do out here last fall. He scored by decisive margins in all but one of his victories at May-wood, in the last gaining a head decision over Mr. Dale and the fleet Miss Ruby. Mark Hanna, driven by Chuck Rumley and owned by G. C. Waufle, was another Maywood favorite last fall, he carrying off honors in his last outing in decisive style. Still another is Earl Siskiyou, who, likewise, entered the winners circle in his last appearance here in 1949. Earl Siskiyou is owned by E. F. Wagner of Springfield. HI. Others matching strides in the Initial end of the pacing feature are Mrs. Norm Covalts Major Grattan, winner of 12 races last year; Hollis Regurs Jessie Laurel, Parlay Acres Farms Hand Book and H. F. Beissers Strickland. The second half of the Inaugural Pace appears to be pretty much an open race, with the stronger field undoubtedly in the first half. Here Chief Strong, owned by the partnership of E. J. Allen and D. E. Smith, and a winner several times here last fall, may turn up the favorite. Chief Strong won 12 races out of 33 engagements in 1949 and beat some fancy steppers in the process. However, there is another in the field, Frank W. Fox Spud Worthy, who performed mostly at fair meetings last season, who is expected to come in for considerable attention. Spud Worthy chalked up 22 victories in 29 starts and was only out of the money three times.

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