New England Notebook: Lane Voices Confidence in Sport Tv Stimulating Influence in Area Talk, Daily Racing Form, 1954-05-26


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New England Notebook ! By JOE HIRSCH I Lane Voices Confidence in Sport TV Stimulating Influence in Area Talk of Second Massachusetts Track SUFFOLK DOWNS, East Boston, Mass., May 25. — A refreshing note of confidence in the economic stability of racirig~was sounded yesterday by Lawrence J. Lane, for the past 20 years secretary of the Massachusetts State Racing Commission and a veteran observer of turf activity in New England. Lane believes the sport has reached a levelling off point and there should be little deviation, at least locally, in attendance or handle figures over the next few years. "Of course," says Lane, "weve had atrocious weather for this spring meeting. Its just about the worst I can remember, and this largely accounts for the dip in averages at Suffolk up to now. But with good weather we would be up to last years figures, and in 1953 we even showed a small increase in the average daily handle. There is a wide public acceptance of racing in this area and the sport should enjoy good standing here for many years to come." Actually interest in racing has been stimulated in these parts. Many factors are responsible, not the least of which is .television, bringing the thrills of great turf events such as the Derby and the Preakness and the performances of great horses like Native Dancer and whetting an appetite for the sport. The four major tracks — Suffolk, Rockingham, Lincoln Downs and Narragansett — are doing what they can to help in-this program of broadening horizons. Judge Pappas at this course has aroused inter-, est in turf racing with his recently announced intention of importing Irish1 ! horses to run here in the fall. Judge Dooley at Narragansett is weather-proofing his track and has installed the film patrol for the August meeting. Lou Smith at Rockingham and B. A. Dario at Lincoln Downs have gone, all out for improvements at their plants and for the quality of racing in New England. Plans have been brewing for some time now to build a second track in the commonwealth. Berkshire County, in the western part of the state, will hold its quadrennial referendum oh pari-mutuel racing in November and if there is a repetition of the 2-1 favorable ballot of four years ago, then a new five-eighths of a mile oval may be opened next season to attract patrons from nearby Albany, N. Y., Massachusetts and the Merrimack Valley of Connecticut. Secretary Lane reports that if the county vote is favorable, an application to build a plant can be entertained by the commission and must be passed upon before January 31. If the application is approved, and other legal requirements are met, construction could begin quickly. Parenthetically it may be noted that much of the work on Suffolk Downs was completed in 10 weeks and other plants have gone up in even shorter periods of time if sufficient cash was available. In considering the economic potential of a track in Berkshire County, a copy of the racing commissions annual report shows that the Barrington Fair drew an average handle of 13,252 and an average attendance of 8,920 last season for its six days of racing in that area. With a professional set-up, Hancock Downs, as "* * " "TStitihaed on Page Forty-Seven New England Notebook By JOE HIRSCH Continued from Page Six the proposed plant may be named, could enjoy success commensurate with the scope of its operations. Around the Track: Tony DeSpirito is back in action once again. New Englands top rider was out for several days with a virus condition of the throat. . . . Augie Hutchins has succeeded Frank Barnett as Cherry-Oca Stable trainer. . . . Mrs. Alfred Roberts, wife of the conditioner, flew in from Miami yesterday to join her husband. . . . Jockey Keith Stuart, who piloted Wise Margin to victory in the Massachusetts, was a guest speaker at the annual breakfast drive of Temple Mishkin Tefila in Roxbury on Sunday morning. Bostons Mayor John Hynes and announcer Ralph "Babe" Rubenstein were among the other speakers. . . . Trainer John Donahue will be married June 12 to Louise Burgess at St. Josephs Church in Belmont. Donahue works for Mrs. Q. A. S. McKean... Mrs. Jimmy OBrey, wife of the veteran conditioner, has recovered from a fractured ankle and is at Suffolk for the remainder of the meeting. . .Trainer Chuck McDon-ough has shipped Ferro Fox and Sky Faith to Garden State to .fulfill engagements there this week.

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