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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:10 am 
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I'm not sure how much interest there is, if any, in old VA racing material, but I ran across some tidbits while researching pre-war environment there.

1. Maps showing the location of important old tracks. Two courses where such names as Boston and Planet ran were near Richmond. The Fairfield course was located about a mile easterly of downtown, and the Broad Rock Course was about 5 miles southwesterly of the city core. In this map, the Fairfield one is unnamed, but I knew its general location from another source. Strong guess that the "McDaniel" residence near Broad Rock is that of David McDaniel:

http://www.loc.gov/resource/g3884r.cw0644000/

2. The Newmarket (or New Market) course was located about a mile east of Petersburg, on property owned by prominent horseman Otway P. Hare over the last 25+ years of its existence. In June 1864, it found itself on the Union side of the front lines during the seige that lasted until the next April. Mr. Hare's mansion was on the hill overlooking his track, and its site was used as the formation of Fort Stedman, which is included within the boundaries of the present-day national war monument. Hare never returned to his old house to live, it being destroyed (Years later, he erected a more modest structure nearby). On this map, it is toward the left hand side, about 1/3 of the way from the top--caution, the north arrow points to left:

http://digitalcollections.baylor.edu/cd ... singleitem

3. In November 1863, Mr. Hare advertised for two meetings to be held later that year, one at Newmarket and the other at Broad Rock. Supposedly, on Nov 27 there was to be a match race between the retired Planet and Lord Clyde. I haven't been able to locate a subsequent newspaper that contains the results of that match, whether it came off or was forfeited. The available racing calendars do not mention these wartime Southern meetings. (on column 3 of this page, at the bottom)

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/ ... nge&page=1

I am in the process of looking for vintage maps of other VA tracks at Ashland/Hanover area and Norfolk.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 25, 2014 4:19 pm 
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I found a map of Thomas J. Doswell's racetrack about a mile NE of Hanover Junction. (Bullfield/Meadow?)

1. An area map showing "Hanover Junction" and "Maj. Doswell":

http://www.piedmontsub.com/maps/DoswellMap1864.jpg

2. A second map showing the Junction and the actual 1860s configuration of the Doswell track (caution: Doswell misspelled "Dowlett"), both locations in lower right hand quadrant of the map:

http://www.loc.gov/resource/g3882n.cw0590100/

Also, I found a map of the Ashland racetrack located 20 mi. north of Richmond. Constructed in 1857/58, it saw several great racers run there during the few years before the Civil War. This map is very crude for details, but the location shown (about a 1/3 of mile south of the main intersection, about 150 yards west of the railroad matches the partial descriptions given in a few sources that I found. It puts it almost dead center about the Racecourse Street in that part of town. It was a classically shaped symmetrical oval, composed of 4 segments of one-quarter mile each.

http://www.loc.gov/resource/g3883h.cwh00292/

Here's a diagram contained in the Turf Register:

http://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=u ... up;seq=203


Last edited by steward on Wed Dec 16, 2015 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 5:52 pm 
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Regarding the original post, paragraph 3:

Yes, Planet did appear for a wartime 1863 race that has never been attributed to him in any compilation heretofore. His equine competition did not, however, and thus it was a walkover with half the of stake forfeited. Ergo, Planet should be credited with another race (29 total), another win, and $5,000 extra to his lifetime resume. The link below refers to November 24th, but it should be November 27th (as denoted in the original link upthread).


http://books.google.com/books?id=Gx04AQ ... 22&f=false

Although not attributed, it is highly likely that Messrs. Doswell furnished the above multipage PP compilation--and access to the Troye painting for the engraving--to the Richmond-based publication "The Farmer." Date errors and all.


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 14, 2015 2:45 pm 
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I found another race for Planet that was never compiled in any racing calendar/register of the day. It undoubtedly was never sent to NY for publication of any type, just at the time when the Civil War was imminent. (Recall, that racing records for that decade were first compiled in toto retroactively in the early 1900s.)

His race was at a meeting at the Lafayette Course in Augusta, GA, that began on Feb 19, 1861. The newspaper archives at the Library of Congress site contains the record for the first race that day:

http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/ ... nge&page=1

On the second day of the meeting on the 20th, there was a 3-mile heat race for $500, in which Planet swept the two heats required for a win. I found a record of that race (along with those for all of the other days of the 5-day meeting) on a pay site yesterday. I saved PDFs.

So, together with the 1863 walkover victory mentioned above, it brings Planet's true overall record to 30 starts, 26 wins, and 4 seconds.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 15, 2015 8:30 pm 
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cool stuff

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Run the race - the one that's really worth winning.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 8:22 am 
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I have been trying to locate a map that shows the exact location of the Tree Hill Course, just south of Richmond, but without success. It was the site of quality racing during the 1820s and 1830s when it was owned by James M. Selden. (In the latter part of that era, the Broad Rock races were held there for at least one year.)

https://books.google.com/books?id=4ZEQA ... 22&f=false

Moreover, on October 28, 1824, the aged Revolutionary War ally, Lafayette, visited to see the days racing there during his tour of Virginia.

Of course, the old plantation bearing that name still exists, pretty much intact. Here's a link to a map that was used in the OP. Tree Hill is located in the upper third of the map, in the large open area due east of the Broad Rock oval, on the bluff overlooking the east side of the James River; and just north of the estate labeled "Stearns." Exactly how it sat on that acreage orientation-wise still is a mystery.

http://www.loc.gov/resource/g3884r.cw0644000/


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:42 pm 
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Hi Steward,
I found some interesting info for you regarding Tree Hill. When they held the races there the Selden's home was used as the grandstand and held 50 members...so the track had to be within view, but no exact location marked on the map? Amazing piece of history found in this "national register of historic places inventory and nomination form". Showing current owners and all its previous owners. The original address was off Route 5 VA but is now 43 OsborneTurnpike. http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/C ... nation.pdf
This is a photo of Tree Hill House where they would view the races. http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/C ... _photo.htm
Another map of where Tree Hill was located (blue pin point), which as you will read in the National Register Nomination Form afforded a view of the James River and the Richmond Skyline. Scroll in and out on this map and read the names of the roads, even the original Tree Hill Lane. https://tools.wmflabs.org/geohack/geoha ... e:landmark
Hope this is helpful, TJ


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:13 pm 
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I'm in the process of tracking down additional history for the great grey gelding, Leviathan (1793). Here is what I have found so far.

1. Two previously uncompiled races. a. A match race on June 1, 1798, when he was in the hands of Edmund Brooke. He defeated Enterprise in one single "dash" of five miles, at the Red House Tavern, VA. b. He lost in two heats at Beaufort, SC, after being sold to James McPherson of SC. It was on February 24, 1803, when he was 10 yo, and represents the last race that I have been able to compile myself.

2. Given all of the data/hints contained in the ATRs, I feel confident that I have found the place where he was bred and/or raised. It likely was at the Salisbury plantation, which Dr. Philip Turpin evidently owned at the time. (I have located an obit for his wife in December of 1793, the winter after Leviathan was foaled.) That tends to match the vague decription (given by the ATR) that it was in a county neighboring Richmond, in this case Chesterfield and not Goochland as surmised.


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