History of American Turf: W. S. Vosburgh Writes on Racing from 1866 to 1921, Daily Racing Form, 1922-11-07


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HISTORY OF AMERICAN TURF i . W. S. Vosburgh Writes on Racing From 1866 to 1921. 1 Handsomely Engraved Volume, Printed by the Jockey Cluli, Is a Valuable Addition to Literature of the Turf. Daily Racing Form has just received a valued addition to its library in "Racing , In America, 1866-1921." This is the work of Walter S. Vosburgh, written for the Jockey Club by this foremost of turf historians, and privately printed. There is no; more comprehensive work on the turf of; America and its wealth of information and, its scholarly handling of the subject is just what could, be expected of Mr. "Vosburgh. 1 It was the good fortune of Daily Racing; Form to have Mr. Vosburgh contribute to these pages last winter and spring and it was the publication of those articles on the. turf that led to the publication of the present j volume by the Jockey Club. j Just what the work contains is set forth ; in the brief preface by its author. He says: "I propose to write a history of racing in j the United States from the period of its re- j vival following the close of the Civil war; down to the time of writing 1921. I shall: show that, owing to want of popular support, racing had fallen so low, and so infrequent, j as to excite little or no interest. I shall recount how, under the auspices of the leading citizens of New York City, the American j Jockey Club revived it at Jerome Park, from which date, having the respect and confidence j of the public, it rose to a high degree of popularity which spread throughout the ! adjoining states and penetrated the West and i South until it had attained a growth that rendered it of national interest. NOTHING PRIOR TO CIVIIi WAR. "That I should have omitted the racing: prior to the Civil war is due to several reasons. In the first place, it would have been a mere compilation of matters of which I had no personal knowledge, but only that; derived from reading; hence second-hand in- formation. Moreover, that period had al-! ready been treated by other and abler hands, j But with racing since its revival at Jerome j Park I had a considerable degree of famil-: iarity, having been in constant attendance at race meetings, and for more than forty years an active participant, thirty-two years of; which as a racing official. j "In the first part of the book I have en- j deavored to give a condensed record of the , different racing clubs and their officials and also of the gradual building of racing govern- j I ment. In the second part I have essayed the careers of the most noted race horses of; their respective periods." j j Then in intensely interesting narrative ; style Mr. Vosburgh tells of the revival of racing and the first one named is at Pater-! ! son, N. J.. in 1S63. That same year John Hunter and W. R. Travers inaugurated rac- 1 ing at the Horse Haven track at Saratoga Springs. The founding of Jerome Park, by 1 Leonard W. Jerome, on the old Bathgate estate in 1S66 and the formation of the; American Jockey Club is told. The reader is. ; carried along through the early days of Jerome Park and its wonderful sport. The! ! coming of the big men to the turf and through it all there are anecdotes of the1 men of racing, from the aristocrat to Polo Jim, and other old negro attendants of . . the day. Another chapter is taken up with the morning gallops at Jerome Park. j Saratoga Springs, Monmouth Park, Sheeps- j ; head Bay, Moris Park and Gravesend are allj j described with the gradual growth of the sport. The next chapter is devoted to the govern- 1 ment of racing under the American Jockey I j Club, the Board of Control and the Jockey I Club, bringing it right down to the present time. j I Following this the racing outside of New . ! York is treated and how the sport spread from state to state is entertainingly set forth. j j Mil. VOSBURGn AT HIS BEST. ! I I I Then comes that portion of the work where Mr. Vosburgh is at his best. It is when discussing the horse himself. Beginning with Asteroid, Kentucky and Norfolk, he traces the great ones right down to the days of Man o" AVar. Grey Lag, Morvich and those of the presertt day. ! I In summing up his description of Man o , j War. Mr. Vosburgh writes: "There is no! method by which races horses of different periods can be compared. We can only! speak of a horse as being the best of his! : period, and such Man o War gave every evidence of being." J j Throughout the work it carries many hand- j some plates, many of them from photo- graphs. Just an idea of how the great horses of the American turf are portraits of Kentucky, Norfolk, Longfellow, Harry Bessett, Ten Broeck, Parole, Spendthrift, Luke Blackburn, Hindoo. Iroquois, with Fred Archer up: George Kinney, Troubadour, Hanover, Kingston, Firenzi, Raceland, Sal-vator, Yorkville Belle, Sir Walter, Ramapo,; Domino, Henry of Navarre, Hastings, Imp. Plaudit, Ethelbert, Sysonby. Commando. Hermis, Irish Lad, Beldame. Broomstick, : Hamburg Belle, Artful, Ballot, Fair Play,; Colin. Olambala, Sweep, Man o War, Roam- er, Pennant, llourless. Regret, Omar Khay-j ! yam. Whisk Broom II., Sir Barton, Friar Rock, Exterminator, Sun Briar, Purchase, 1 Grey Lag. Black Servant, Morvich. i The volume is the most valuable addition to the literature of the American turf that has appeared during the period it covers so exhaustively.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1922110701/drf1922110701_8_1
Local Identifier: drf1922110701_8_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800