view raw text
- FAIR GROUNDS IMPROVED NEW ORLEANS GRANDSTAND IS HANDSOMER THAN EVER BEFORE SINCE ITS ERECTION. Elaborate Flans for Social Functions at the Track Clubhouse — Fund from Selling Race Surpluses to Be Generous. New Orleans, La.. December 11. — Unless otherwise informed one would imagine on arrival in this city that a race meeting was in full blast, judging by the immense throng of turf followers here. Since the first of the month they have come from all sections of the country and each train brings additions. All are eager for the opening of the sport. At the Fair Grounds activity is the daily rule and the seven hundred horses now quartered there are lieing put through their paces in regular training order, although fast work-outs, for the present, are not frequent. The course is in perfect order anil a source of joy aud amazement to the owners. No marring incidents attended the coming of the vast number of thoroughbreds and few ailments have lieen recorded to date, with the exception of the death of the veteran Joe Stein, which landed here with an aggravated case of pneumonia. The plant presents a spick aud span appearance. Fresh paint is everywhere, the massive grandstand having had the finishing touches put to it. Its coat of white with green trimmings gives it an as|H ct of newness, superior to that presented when it first was erected and covered with a drab-gray coloring. lid timers, who were wont to race at the Fair Grounds during the rlonrishiug days of the sport in this section, aver that the plant at present shows vast improvement over former times and that its long disuse has not impaired it in the slightest degree. Though still nearly three weeks off from the time that the first bugle will call the horses to tlie post. Manager Murphy and his force of assistants have the preliminary work well in hand and. were it necessary, the meeting could be started tomorrow. Local interest is in excess of former years and tlie business men of the city look upon the coming meeting with great pride. They regard the meeting as their own institution, created by their efforts, and are willing si onsors for it. They have alisolute confidence in the sound judgment of Joseph A. Murphy and bis management and abide by bis decision. Plans for the remodeling of the clubhouse and for the reorganization of the scheme under which this popular social function was operated last winter are well under way. Steward Campbell, who originated the idea last winter, has been complimented from many quarters on his determination to give substantial recognition to the society feature of the sport. Tbe coming of thoroughbred properties, owned by numerous millionaires, creates a new stimulus among the "higher up" in the running of the blue-blooded aristocrats of tlie turf. Colonel Campbell proposes this winter to extend the clubhouse privileges to a limited numlier of guests of those holding membership cards, which will afford a wider field for outdoor society functions at the track. The location of the clubhouse will be as it was last year, at the end of the grandstand nearest the entrance. Because of the limited number of boxes last year, many prominent visiting people were refused membership. To overcome this it is projiosed to increase the membership without, however, permiting any relaxation of the supervision over memberships which made the clubhouse exclusive. Through the medium of handsome and spirited display cards, which have been sent out t t!ie four corners of the United States and Canada, the racing association is advertising New Orleans broadcast as the "Winter Capitol of America." and is extending an invitation to the tourist everywhere to come to the Crescent City. All New Orleans railroad lines have entered enthusiastically in the scheme. An entirely new rule in Tespect to selling races has been adopted by the Business Mens Racing Association for its coining meeting. In future the winner of a selling race will not l e sold at auction. Within fifteen minutes after the official placing has been made, any person in good standing will have the right to put in a sealed bid for the winner to the clerk of the scales. These bids will be opened at the expiration of this tine* and the owner of the winner notified of the high bid. He will have the option to protect his horse with the customary bid of five dollars, or let it go. If he elects not to protect it an order on him will be issued to the successful bidder. This rule will stop the collecting of curious crowds in front of the judges stand and will also prevent the show of ill-feeling which at times crops up over public bidding on a winner. It will also have tlie effect of protecting the owner from bidding by irresponsible persons, as the money must accompany all bids, or the person bidding have a sufficient amount in the office to cover the bid. The question of the surplus in selling races which has been the subject of considerable discussion by the leading turf associations of late has bad careful thought over by Judge Murphy and his officials. It has been the policy of the Business Mens Association to take nothing from the horsemen. There is no charge for stall rent and the money derived from licenses is used to take care of injured ami sick persons on the track and the balance at the end of the season is turned over to the Charity Hospital. Judge Murphy has finally decided to recommend to the directors the creation of an emergency char-itv fund from the surplus. "If we had a fund of 0,0*10 available at all times for emergency purposes, we might do a lot of good at times. Tlie horsemen. I feel certain, will be lad to have this system of distributing the surplus. Willie Gerdes, the theatrical producer, acted as a stakeholder last season, and will again this year He told me at Washington that he would pnilueo San Toy for me this winter for any charity I wished. Mrs. Charles Consolvo. wife of the proprietor of the Monticello Hotel at Norfolk, who has played the title role, has offered to come here and play it here and the rest of the cast could be made up of local people. I could till a house from the racing colony alone and this would give its a tidy sum to add to the fund so that we should have close to the ten-thousand mark before the meeting is over. Col. Thomas C. Campbell could handle the business end of the show. Gerdes be the producer and I the angel. This fund might at souiu time relieve a lot of suffering." Only the associations half of the run-up money will go into this fund. The owner of the second liors,. will receive the customary fifty per cent. According to advices received today Tommy and Johnny McTaggart. who will ride at the Fair Grounds during the coming meeting, will arrive soon after Christmas. Johnny will do the riding for R. T. Wilson and Tommy will he a free lance. Jockey Butwell will pilot the horses of Euiil Herz. He has been here since Monday. The Business Mens Racing Association is now-forced to refuse further applications for stall room, because of lack of space. A request from a prominent owner yesterday could not be complied with, although the owners participation iu tlie racing here was much desired. There was a big list of departures this morning by steamer for Havana of turfmen who intend t. be at Oriental Park for the opening. Among those who left for the Cuban capital were W. F. Schulte. Charltou Elrod and family. Sam llinkle. Milton Mcffert. T. Quinu. S. Shriner. J. Morgan. Janes Arthur. Hart Dernhaui, T. Kerr, John Munler and jockey King Lapaille.