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DRF historical archive

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  • DRF historical archive

    I think racing fans, especially the historians among us, might find this new resource handy. The Daily Racing Form, in partnership with the University of KY, has started to put all it's past issues online in a PDF format, going all the way back to the 1800's!!
    Articles about racing and breeding, PPs, results, advertisements. It's really really fascinating, and you have to be careful you don't unknowningly wile away too many hours.
    It's still a work in progress and has gaps here and there, that I'n sure will be filled in over time. This is really really cool.
  • Original Poster

    One thing I found pretty amazing is how much horses traveled 100 years ago. Here are the PPs for the first race at Juarez (across from El Paso), dec 22nd 1910. There are horses in that raced with PPs in Montreal!!, Fort Erie and Windsor in Can, Latonia (precursor to Turkway) and Louisville in KY, Oakland, Salt Lake (they had racing back then , what did the Mormons say?), Empire (NY???).
    Can you imagine what it took to get a horse from Montreal to El Paso back in those days? Multiple train rides! I guess this was the historical forerunner to Mine that Bird and Chip Wooley's cross country trek from El Paso to Louisville!


    • #3
      Thank you!!
      In loving memory of Chutney (1977 - 2008)


      • Original Poster

        Another thing that is interesting to note is the distances of day to day races. Cards generally are 5f and 6f races, maybe a 4½f race for 2yos and then a race or two at a mile or a mile 1/16. Just like it is today.
        This idea that some people have that American horses were racing up to two miles in the good old days and that speed and sprinting is a recent obsession is false nostalgia.


        • #5


          • #6
            Sensational! Thanks for sharing this

            A true wealth of information to spend hours on

            Plenty of interesting tid-bits: Montford Jones making a $100,000 offer for Man O'War August 8, 1919. Jones wanted MOW to be part of a breeding establishment. (That's when he was 2-yrs old)

            From a NYT's June 1919 article Montford Jones was referred to as "a comparative newcomer to racing" buying everything in sight. With ex-jockey and trainer "Snapper Garrison" making the buys for him.

            Here is the famed article in the history of US racing: DRF August 14, 1919 - UPSET BEATS MAN O' WAR

            Of course the Daily Racing Form unfazed by the loss and in fact heaped more praise on him in the loss August 15, 1919 said "Glen Riddle Farm Colt Considered Best Juvenile Seen on American Turf Since Days of Colin."

            The majority of good judges who witnessed yesterdays race firmly believe that had not Loftus
            been caught napping at the start Man o War would still be undefeated All agree that he is a
            wonderful colt even better than was the great Billy Kelly last year at this time
            Billy Kelly?


            • #7
              dear god ...


              • #8
                Youtube: video report on how the DRF archives are saved and made available on-line

                An interesting project and thankfully the Keeneland folks are the ones tasked with preserving the resource.


                • #9
                  Thank you for this. What a treasure it will be when I can get into it!!

                  Right now, the too busy/off line proxy message is coming up for me.
                  "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                  Thread killer Extraordinaire


                  • #10
                    Interesting perspectives:

                    Daily Racing Form Sep 30, 1910 "Comparative Mile Speed (Records) of Tracks

                    Mile record was Saratoga @ 1:36 1/5; Tijuana (MEX) was 1:38; Oriental Park (Cuba) 1:38 2/5; Woodbine (Canada) 1:39; et al

                    The record today is held (on dirt) at 1:32.2 with Dr. Fager with 136-lbs and 1:32.24 with Najran with 113-lbs.

                    And oh what a change: DRF Sep 28, 1910 - "Laurel Park Racing Begins Tuesday"

                    One of the Greatest Meetings Ever Held in Maryland Predicted for Track Near Baltimore. .... Letter perfect, these gallant actors are going to rise in Laurel to the highest levels of their careers. ...
                    Last edited by Glimmerglass; Oct. 28, 2009, 12:08 AM.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Drvmb1ggl3 View Post
                      One thing I found pretty amazing is how much horses traveled 100 years ago. Here are the PPs for the first race at Juarez (across from El Paso), dec 22nd 1910. There are horses in that raced with PPs in Montreal!!, Fort Erie and Windsor in Can, Latonia (precursor to Turkway) and Louisville in KY, Oakland, Salt Lake (they had racing back then , what did the Mormons say?), Empire (NY???).
                      Can you imagine what it took to get a horse from Montreal to El Paso back in those days? Multiple train rides! I guess this was the historical forerunner to Mine that Bird and Chip Wooley's cross country trek from El Paso to Louisville!
                      I'm guessing this was Empite City, just outside NYC is Yonkers. It is the general location of the Yonkers Raceway. Horses did get around pretty well in that era but it hard to be hard. It appears that horses shipped, raced and moved on alot. I have a copy of DRF's Champions and you can see how often horses raced and in many cases they were probably on the road the entire time between.
                      F O.B
                      Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
                      Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique