Enormous Battle Against Time Being Waged at Monmouth Park: Engineers State New Plant Will be Ready for June 10 Opening If Rains Let Up, Daily Racing Form, 1946-05-29


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Enormous Battle Against Time Being Waged at Monmouth Park Engineers State New Plant VV/7/ Be Ready for June 10 Opening If Rains Let Up LONG BRANCH, N. J., May 28. — Up here in a nothern New Jersey meadow, close by the rolling Atlantic Ocean, officials of the new Monmouth Park Jockey Club are waging a titanic but victorious battle against time. With only a fortnight remaining before the scheduled opening of the 36-day inaugural meeting on Monday, June 10, construction work is proceeding at an accelerated pace as all concerned in the huge project strive mightily in a concerted effort to have the plant shipshape by that date. As casual observer, scanning the partially completed buildings that are gradually rearing majestically from a vast sea of yellow mud, quite plausibly might fail to conceive how the enormous undertaking will be brought to a successful conclusion before the deadline, but engineers and trained craftsmen, working at feverish pace, state emphatically that, with good weather from here on. Monmouth Park will stand prepared to greet racing fans on opening day. Unprecedented rains in this area during the past fortnight have served to curtail normal construction work considerably. Hardest hit by the wet weather were the steel and concrete workers, who time and again were forced to lay off because of rain. As a result, the huge grandstand, which will comfortably accommodate 9,200 when completed, is far behind schedule, as is the clubhouse, which will be a fabled five-storied affair when completed. However, these two most important adjuncts to the plant are now receiving the bulk of attention from the scores of workers who are laboring at an amazing pace under the supervision of skilled construction experts known as "pushers." Officials Give Assurances While neither the grandstand nor clubhouse will be entirely finished by the time of the opening date, Monmouth Park officials have given their assurances that the plant will have reached a stage of near completion, thus affording patrons a large measure of comfort. When completed in every detail, the five -story clubhouse will be topped by two floors of parterre boxes, each box a private club for the boxholder. The clubhouse building will be 200 feet long and 250 feet wide. It will comfortably accommodate 2,000 persons, with 104 boxes seating an additional 750. While there is only faint chance this imposing structure will be completed in its blue-printed entirety, officials hasten to announce it will be entirely adequate by opening day. Strangely enough, the heavy rains proved a blessing in disguise as far as the racing strip proper is concerned. In packing the track down, the rain served to point out the weak, or soft spots, in the surface. These weak spots are now being remedied and within a day or two, a final five inches of screened loam will be spread on. Designed according to the specifications of William duPont, noted race track authority, and Roy Pardee, engineering genius of Delaware Park, the new Monmouth Park track will be one of the finest in the country, officials say. Utilizing much of the old Monmouth Park surface, the new racing strip is a one mile oval with a 14-inch sub-base of sand and loam and a top cushion of screened loam. The length of the stretch from the last turn to the finish line is 985 feet. Receive Horses on June 1 Although General Manager Edward Brennan had announced that the track would be open to receive horses on May 25, it has become necessary, because of the wet weather, to delay this date until June 1. By that time, according to Brennan, the track will be ready for training and the stables, situated along the backstretch, will be completed. There are 17 stables located in this area, the majority containing 54 stalls each. Each stable has living quarters for the men, showers, wash basins and toilet facilities. Approximately 800 horses can be accommodated at Monmouth Park. Track kitchens, maintenance and recreation buildings also are located along the backstretch. A row of stately trees has been replanted along the backstretch to completely screen the stabling area from grandstand and clubhouse patrons. As mentioned above, the entire scene presents a depressing picture of mud, scaffolding and unfinished construction. However, within the next few days, an enlarged corps of skilled landscape artisans will move into action. With such modern mechanical marvels as bulldozers and giant scrapers at their command, this particular group of technicians will beautify the plant in short order. More than 350 elms, Norway maples, pin oaks, red oaks, dog woods and willow trees, many resurrected from the old race course, will be replanted about the course. Already an artificial lake has been installed in the centerfield. Next season, a steeplechase course will be installed. This course will have 13 brush hurdles. The diagrams of Monmouth Parks various parking areas already have been laid out and within a short time, contingent on continued fair weather, these areas will be graded and hard-surfaced. A total of 150,000 square yards will be utilized for parking. When completed there will be accommodations for 4,000 cars. While the inclement weather naturally served to either curtail or bring to a standstill outside construction, work has moved forwardly within the structures. The huge mutuel plant is almost completed and is far ahead of schedule. The infield odds-board has been completed and electricians now are engaged in laying the cables and setting up the totalisator machinery. Incidentally, for this first meeting, Monmouth Park will use the totalisator that was utilized last year at Delaware Park, that plant having installed the new master "tote." Monmouth Park officials, however, have contracted with the American Totalisator officials to transfer parts of the Delaware Park master tote to Monmouth Park following the close of the Delaware meeting on July 4. For the inaugural meeting, at least, fans visiting the track by railroad will be denied the privilege of disembarking from the cars right at the grandstand. Because of labor and other shortages, railroad officials have been unable to lay a spur into the track at this time. However, all race specials will unload passengers just a short distance from the upper end of the grandstand. The distance railroad patrons will have to walk, according to General Manager Brennan, is no greater than that patrons have to walk from the trains to the clubhouse entrance at Belmont Park. Situated right in the heart of a cluster of northern New Jersey resorts, Monmouth Park should not lack for patronage. Officials estimate there are some 400,000 persons residing within a 30-mile area of the track and during the summer season, this population increases to almost a million. Nearby resorts are Ocean Grove, Asbury Park, Bradley Beach, Long Branch, Avon, Point Pleasant, Sea Bright and Monmouth.

Persistent Link: https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1940s/drf1946052901/drf1946052901_26_1
Local Identifier: drf1946052901_26_1
Library of Congress Record: https://lccn.loc.gov/unk82075800