Schools and Hospitals Needed: Eastern Track Improvements Suggested-Belmont Park and Empire City Plans, Daily Racing Form, 1919-11-16


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SCHOOLS AND HOSPITALS NEEDED Eastern Track Improvements Suggested Belmont Park and Empire City Plans. NEW YORK, N. Y., November 15. Schools and first-aid hospitals are needed at -all tracks where horsemen winter. It is the hardest thing to get boys to work in a racing stable, owing to lack of opportunities for his education, which is exacted by the government. If- schools were inaugurated on the grounds, the difficulty of employing boys would not be nearly as great, as they could be given occupation as well as free schooling, added to the opportunity of .becoming horsemen. As for a first-aid hospital, every track should be properly equipped in this respect, and the building so situated that it would be available at all times during the winter months for those who are wintering horses. There will be probably nearly 400 horses at Belmont Park this coming winter, and a community of. possibly fifty persons, including owners and trainers. Many times there are accidents and sickness, and. it is not always advisable to cart an injured or a sick person five or six miles to some institution for treatment. It would take little money to equip a small hospital and build a school op, any race track. There are two subjects which call for discussion in the future, the school especially, if this country is to provide sufficient jockeys to meet the demand. Those who are well acquainted with the difficulty in procuring apprentices can testify the need of relief and can vouch for the results if something is not done by the pnwers that be to relieve the existing situation. Improvements at Belmont Park are still under discussion, and as Major August Belmont has intimated that if the stockholders believe the public and horsemen want drastic changes at Belmont Park he is perfectly willing to abide by the will of the majority. J. E. Widener, II. r. Whitney and V. K. Vanderbilt are the largest individual stockholders In the Westchester -Raelng Association plant, and it is generally conceded that these are the men who are urging a change in the track, as well as suggesting great improvements. At present the plans are only tentative, but it is more than probable they will develop into action in the near future. The Empire City track is about to undergo a transformation; not in the track proper, or its location, but in its surroundings. James Butler has arranged to. beautify the entrances and enlarge them to such an extent that there will be little or no delay in handling the great crowds expected and which uncomfortably packed the. stands and grounds last fall and summer. Frank Keegan, who has superintended much of the work at Laurel and Juarez for the last ten years, has been engaged to suggest and superintend all improvements at Empire. The automobile entrance will have special attention. It has been inadequate for two or three years to accommodate the crowds and lines of automobiles that are driven to the hilltop track. What changes and how they are to be made has not yet been definitely decided upon, but when completed greater comfort will be granted to everyone and parking space will bo provided for at least 1,000 more, .automobiles. Mr. Butler realizes that such alterations are absolutely necessary, and he will endeavor to more than fill the desired want.

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