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 Post subject: Fun project
PostPosted: Thu Nov 22, 2018 7:10 pm 
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I am well into the process of collecting articles from old newspaper archives (pay sites), and compiling a racing calendar for the years 1827 and 1828. I likely will synthesize the material from the 1829 Turf Register to include a compact listing for that year too. Prolly take me 3 or 4 more weeks during the holidays. It is amazing how much material was printed and saved via content-sharing among the newsies of the day.

In addition to the news archives, I will go through the Turf Registers and other early books to squeeze out whatever data can be gotten. The old stud ads and ATR "memoirs" are quite helpful to augment the base materials.

I have collected news articles going back to 1890. But racing calendars are pretty much impossible, once that you go back past 1824 or thereabout.


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 Post subject: Re: Fun project
PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Having a blast and learning a lot. I can't believe that someone hasn't tackled something like this before. Crickmore did a racing calendar retrospective of the Civil War years in 1901. But nothing comparable since, to my knowledge.

I will self-publish (for a nominal price) when I feel that the matter has been fully researched. I'm also thinking about going backward to 1824-26-ish.


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 Post subject: Re: Fun project
PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2018 9:36 am 
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Sounds fascinating. I was talking with a jock agent this morning who was recounting growing up the son of a jockey in New Orleans and running the circuit New Orleans-Miami-Cincinnati - back in the day River Downs apparently had crazy purse money.

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So Run for the Roses, as fast as you can.....


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 Post subject: Re: Fun project
PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 4:23 pm 
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Now covers 1826-1829. Going into 1830 is quite tempting because the ATR was not yet thorough then. It was a real project to convince the sport's participants to respond professionally enough, and adequately report basic racing data.

1825 is a possibility, too. (This is hypnotic, almost.) A lot of heretofore questionable pedigree questions sort themselves out. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Fun project
PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2018 5:45 pm 
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1825 now being compiled and nearly complete.


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 Post subject: Re: Fun project
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:20 pm 
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1) Now done with 1824 .... that is as far as one can go and hope to be complete with the top horses, & decently inclusive down to the lowliest race course. In the midst of compiling an index, a rather challenging and labor-intensive task.

2) One cannot overstate the impact of the American Eclipse-Henry match race on the enthusiasm quotient among the general public, and the resulting increased newspaper coverage for horse racing in general the very next year. It allowed me to go back that far in time .... otherwise, beyond that a fruitless endeavor.

3) Scraping every last tidbit from disparate sources has been quite a chore. One discovery led to another, and it became difficult to stop the process. A little depressing, actually. The records of these interesting horses became a personal quest. Their human companions are another story altogether.

4) Along the way, the data led me into a lot of bunny holes that helped me clean up my larger database project.

5) Maybe in a month it will be complete. But tough to let go. I am in the process of contacting the Virginia Historical Society for some race results from the Tree Hill (Richmond) and Norfolk courses.

6) That is all ..... :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Fun project
PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2019 3:35 pm 
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It was America's fascination (if not obsession) with race clockings that led to the eventual universal adoption of one-mile tracks. The incentives to compare performances between races (close and afar) for heat races of 1-mile through 4-mile distances did it. Horse owners who arranged matches, and big bettors, demanded some standardization. Complaints about English practices of irregular courses and distances ... I came across them now and then, but the underlying discontent about American courses not being perfectedly one mile was ever-present. FYI.

By the time that 1824 rolled around, clockings in fractions of seconds arrived.

One more thing .... staging races on a course other than one mile around would mean having the starter being somewhere besides the judges' stand at the finish line. Not good. As it was, there already were extra officials at a distance pole, plus another one beyond the starting line who would flag a false start. The practicalities of heat racing precluded anything other than a one-mile track, preferable 5,280 exactly.


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