Here and Ther on the Turf: Community Benefits of Racing, Conspicuous Instances Cited, Daily Racing Form, 1922-09-23


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Here and There j on the Turf j Community Benefits of Rac-t ing, Conspicuous Instances Cited. Racing and its far reaching benefit to com- i a munities has been exemplified in every section 3 where the active turf has reached. It has been j charged by those who are misinformed and those who do not take the trouble to find out J for themselves that racing has a demoraliring 1 influence. Never was there a more baseless libel against the greatest of all sports. 1 Just what racing means is shown by the residential colonies that have grown up as ona of its results. With the opening of magnificent Belmont Park, in Nassau County, there has 3 grown up in the immediate vicinity large colonies of clean living, responsible citizens, most ; of whom have only settled there by reason of the racing. The sport has done a wonderful thing for Jamaica. The Aqueduct course has been, alone, responsible for a boom in that section, while the coming back of the sport to the track of the Empire City Racing Association, in Westchester County, had its beneficial effect on Yonkers and Mount Vernon. Racing reaily put Havre de Grace on the map, as also it did the little town of Laurel. It was racing that brought a certain amount of fame and no end of prosperity to the little Canadian town of Windsor. Saratoga Springs without racing is no Saratoga at all, as will be testified by its citizens who will always remember 1911 and 1912, when the association did not open its gates. Each winter racing means everything to the localities where the sport is conducted. Many years ago, when the late C. S, Bush was induced to form a club to "Dring racing to New Orleans, he was just a bit fearful of its success. In order to finance the meeting he called for subscriptions from merchants of the city. Many who saw the possibilities subscribed and the expensss of the meeting were underwritten before the gates were opened. From that first year it was such a benefit to the old city that the merchants demanded that they share again in the profits of other years. The sport brought trade to the city and it was a trade that benefited every merchant. El Paso and San Diego have learned the value of racing, as has Havana. Altogether, there is not a section that has not derived a direct benefit from racing. Some of the other sections where racing once flourished have gone into dry rot with the wiping out of the sport. This is in a large measure-the case at Sheepshead Bay. In the old days of the Coney Island Jockey Club and the Sheepshead Bay track, one of the most popular that ever existed in New York, the little village was one of the most prosperous. Turfmen lived there and millions were spent in handsome residences that were constructed. Then came the closing of the big track to racing and at once Sheepshead Bay began to slump until now it is but a shadow of what it was when racing brought it prosperity. The history of the New Jersey courses that have gone shows the same disintegration of the cities and villages they so richly benefited. And the colony that is built up by the sport is a law-abiding, clean-living colony. It is a colony of responsible citizens. Where can there be found better examples of that than right now at Jamaica, Queens, Hollis and the other sections that have been so thickly settled, and permanently settled, by those attracted purely because of proximity to the Long Island race tracks? No sport is better policed than racing and no sport attracts a better class of men. In the vast crowds that go a-racing it would be natural to expect occasional outbursts of rowdyism, but they are absent on race courses. Long since such moral derelicts have found the race track is not a healthy place to indulge in their practices and, really, there is little for the race track police to do. But they are kept there to keep order and they, fill the office so efficiently, quietly, that no better behaved crowds can be found anywhere.

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