100 years ago in The Saratogian: July 31 – New York News




Tuesday, July 31, 1917

“Retail clerks in Saratoga spent the busiest day of the season thus far today” as horse racing fans and vacationers arrive in the Spa City for the track season, which begins tomorrow.

“Every train brought large numbers of racing people,” The Saratogian reports, “and more than one private car of a millionaire horseowner was stationed in the railroad yards today.

“There are more cottages rented this season than last. People who have not rented heretofore are doing so this year, and these rentals together with the good bookings the hotels have received promise an August equal to last August, which is all that can be desired.”

The track may do better than last year, even though the U.S. is at war. Saratoga will have no competition from Canada, where horse racing will be suspended for the duration effective tomorrow. No such shutdown is planned here.


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“With the government known to be heartily in favor of horse racing as a means of insuring the maintenance of a high standard of breeding, and therefore a measure of war preparedness … the sport of kings is coming into a deserved measure of popularity and official support.”

As recently as 1912, strict anti-gambling legislation kept the track closed in August. In 1917, “the day when abuse of this sport was a popular pastime of legislatures and reformers is passed.”

Thanks in part to the absence of racing in Canada, “Society – with a capital S – is expected to be on hand at Saratoga this year in greater number than in many years.”

HEAT WAVE

The new arrivals…

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