Apr 27th 2010 02:39 pm |
Amidst all of the Derby hoopla, Belmont Park will open for its spring meet on Friday. As I have said in this space before, Belmont is one of my favorite tracks. Like all racing fans, annual markers on my calendar are linked to big races and opening days. This year, Belmont opens on Friday and Delaware Park on Kentucky Derby day — a trifecta of racing holidays packed in two days.
While I was at Keeneland Library a few weeks ago, I browsed through a periodical called Illustrated Sporting News. The short-lived and hard to find magazine contained a number of images of New York racetracks. I copied about two dozen from 1905 and, as I was preparing this post, I wondered about the annual racing calendar in New York that year. Of course, 1905 is the first year of racing at Belmont Park. In addition to Belmont, New York had six other racetracks, five within what is now the city limits of New York City.
For as long as I have been a racing fan the Aqueduct-Belmont-Saratoga cycle has made up the whole of New York’s racing year. But in 1905, the racing calender in New York look like this:
Aqueduct – April 15 to April 24
Jamaica – April 25 to May 3
Belmont Park – May 4 to May 24
Gravesend – May 25 to June 14
Sheepshead Bay – June 15 to July 4
Brighton Beach – July 5 to July 29
Saratoga – July 31 to Aug 23
Sheepshead Bay – Aug 25 to Sept 9
Gravesend – Sept 11 to Sept 23
Brighton Beach – Sept 25 to Sept 30
Belmont Park – Oct 2 to Oct 14
Jamaica – Oct 16 to Nov 1
Aqueduct – Nov 2 to Nov 15
In 1905, New York had seven race tracks, with thirteen race meets, hosting the best racing in the country. If you look at a list of significant horses during this era, the majority competed at one of these seven race places. The images that I found, just in browsing through the 1905 issues of the Illustrated Sporting News, attests to the popularity and importance of racing in New York:
For a historic maps showing the locations of three of these New York tracks visit: http://www.arrts-arrchives.com/BJC.html
All of the images above are in the public domain so please use them as you wish.
SOURCES, NOTES, AND OBSERVATIONS
“Jockey Club Stewards Award Racing Dates,” The Evening World, 17 February 1905
In my rush, to copy the images above, I kept very bad notes on citations. I know they are all from issues of the Sporting News Illustrated from 1905 but don’t know the exact issue. The publication is hard to find and was only published for three years (as far as I can tell). It covered all sports but had racing related stories and images in all the issues I viewed.
I’ll be at beautiful Delaware Park on Saturday to enjoy some live racing and to watch the big race from Churchill.
Hope to do one more Kentucky Derby related post this week…
THANKS FOR READING AND GOOD LUCK!
Filed in Aqueduct racetrack,Beldame,Belmont Park,Belmont Park inaugural meeting,Belmont Stakes,betting rings,gambling,Gravesend racetrack,Jamaica racetrack,New York racing history,Sheepshead Bay racetrack,Tanya,thoroughbred racing history