Maumee Downs: Rise in Crowds, Handle Under New Regime; Matkin Heads Successful Eight Managers; Record 0,600 Distribution on Saturday, Daily Racing Form, 1958-05-12


view raw text

Maumee Downs I By Dick Kumble Rise in Crowds Handle Under New Regime Matkin Heads Successful Eight Managers Record 10600 Distribution on Saturday MAUMEE DOWNS Maumee Ohio May 10 This is a nation governed by trends There has been much talk lately concerning a recession especially in the Detroit area where numerous plants in the Motor City business closed operations temporarily Statistics at race tracks all over the country failed to show an up ¬ ward trend and it has been stated in many quarters that We equalled last years marks which is in its way indication of an increase We refer to the general national picture weather notwith ¬ standing This traveling writer was quite accustomed to these impressions Today we arrived at Maumee Downs Toledos Friendly Track which from outward appear ¬ ances would only further the declining tendency But a rude awakening was in store President Eisenhower might look in this direction for a bit of economical encouragement There is nothing special being given away at Maumee Just a change of suits a fresh shirt and a general overhaul which has erased many of the dull memories of the old Fort Miami MiamiStatistic Statistic No 1 Mutuel play is up 37 per cent No 2 Attendance is up 101 per cent These totals represent onehalf of this Current 28day meeting and show no inclination to reverse The climate in the Midwest has been cold with quite a bit of rain this spring The population of surrounding vicinities has not increased appreciably To pinpoint the reason for this sizable success one can only examine the changes which have occurred since last years meeting and especially since March 30 wherT the group of men known as the ToledoMaumee Raceways Inc went to work and performed miraculous feats within 30 days The responsible parties are Ralph Matkin the president from Huntington Woods Mich who coordinated all departments and headed the construction and hiring of personnel treasurer Harold Lucas a former auto dealer from Detroit Charley P White who handles the horsemen and track surface condition and is owner of the luxurious River Bank golf course located on Northwestern Highway near the Motor City James Oade of Detroit who runs the admissions parking programs and box seat departments John Elias noted Detroit restaurateur and owner of a large public stable who is the promotion man and advertising man ¬ ager attorney Robert C Ragan of nearby Toledo Ben Kohn the department store magnate from Royal Oak Mich and Joseph Levy Maumees purchasing agent owner of a large home appliance store in Royal Oak OakAlmost Almost Three Decades in Racing RacingThese These are eight men who report to work early each morning and assist one another in the operation that is destined to produce one of the finest allaround rac ¬ ing attractions in this state Matkin the president is a former horse owner is treasurer of Hazel Park and has interests in Wheeling Downs in West Virginia The softspoken civic leader has been in racing for almost 30 years He was born in Detroit and graduated from Michigan State University with a degree in aeronautical engineering He was in charge of the cost department for the Cadillac Motor Company and was chief engineer for Murray Body in the 1930s prior to the purchase of his first thoroughbred in 1937 His brother Dayton Matkin had spent most of his life in the sport and is currently a presiding steward at Wheeling Ralpli pro moted the construction of Hazel Park which began in 1947 ran out of money and then merged with Richard Connell and Waldo Andrews currently president and vicepresident of that plant to see the final brick cemented in its place Hazel Park was completed in 1949 and Matkin held the position of assistant treasurer for eight years before being promoted promotedLast Last year the Hazel syndicate purchased Wheeling for 1780000 from the U S Government Jim Blank was elected president of Wheeling under the new regime and Anthony Zerilli general manager Ralph Matkin founded a large poultry and egg retail and wholesale business in Michigan which is being operated by his son Ralph Jr 22 The elder Matkin lives with his wife the former Ruth Axtell of Foley Minn and daughters Sharon 19 and Karen 17 two of Hazel Parks loveliest young ladies and 13yearold Douglas Matkin Mrs Matkin visits the track daily and is one of the many who echo You should have seen this place when we came in It was almost an entirely different track when it opened this spring That speech was heardby this reporter no less than 14 times in one afternoon on the grounds groundsToledo Toledo Area Starved for Sports SportsMaumee Maumee Downs lies close to the town of Maumee but is considered part of greater Toledo a city of more than 400000 Figures released show that almost 75 per cent of the fans at Fort Miami came in daily from Detroit and other Michigan areas while the new man ¬ agement has narrowed that figure to 25 per cent in deference to counted license plates from the Buckeye state Toledo which forsook their only professional baseball representative when the Sox were moved to Wichita by the parent Milwaukee Braves actually offers insignificant competition in the way of spectator sports Wrestling which drew crowds of 6000 weekly has been discontinued and hockey is played by the Mercurys on a minorleague scale The University of ofContinued Continued on Page FortySix MAUMEE DOWNS DOWNSBy By DICK HUMBLE Continued from Page Seven SevenToledo Toledo no longer offers the outstanding basketball teams they fielded in the past Maumee Downs is surely the sport of this city where more glass is produced than any other sector in these United States StatesOne One of the greatest problems is the stall situation There are 643 spaces on the grounds and they are jammed In fact a better class horse has made itself available to this track after the recent increase in purse distribution but the management will only be able to solve this problem for their fall meeting which numbers 16 days Previous plans to run all 44 programs at one session beginning in early April were prevented by the late granting of dates and has caused the eight managers to appre ciate the split season which enables them to escape some of the wintry afternoons that are dominant here that time of year In previous years the top purse at this track was 800 The minimum is now 700 expected to rise once again and a record 10600 was distributed here Saturday in ¬ cluding a 2000 feature the Ohio Handi ¬ cap There is an old saying that goes You cant knock success How true it is Try Maumee Downs for size

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1958051201_7_2
Library of Congress Record: