Opening of the Charles Town Racetrack

Martinsburg Journal
December 1, 1933

Racing Meet At Charles Town Opens Saturday

Notables Will Be Among Thousands Expected For Opening Of First Track In State - Everything Believed In Readiness For Start At 1 P. M. - Some Social Events To Precede Affair

Tomorrow afternoon at 1 o'clock the barrier will be sprung for the first time at the Shenandoah Jockey Club's new racing plant located at Charles Town.

The opening of the new track, which has been rushed to completion in the past six weeks, will be attended by considerable fanfare with notables of the racing world from throughout this section attending. Seven races will be offered Saturday beginning at 1 o'clock and continuing at half-hour intervals. The meet will continue through Christmas Day, giving twenty days of racing, with seven raices [sic] daily.

Although there was no announcement from track officials today, it was definitely stated several days ago that all would be in readiness for the opening.

The administration of the new plant will be in charge of Joseph B. Boyle and Thomas K. Lynch, operators of the Bowie and Marlboro tracks in Maryland and both widely known racing men.

The pari-mutuel department will be in charge of Mortimer M. Mahoney, of Baltimore, who acts in a similar capacity at a number of the country's leading tracks.

Expect 10,000

If the weather is good a crowd of around 10,000 is expected for the opening, it was said. A number of social events are being held in connection with the opening. Mrs. Katherine Elkins Hitt, daughter of the late United States Senator Stephen B. Elkins, will be hostess at a reception in the new club house with Mr. and Mrs. "Jock" Whitney among the guests.

A proposed reception by Kiwanis and Lions Clubs, of Charles Town, honoring track officials, which was to have been held this evening, was called off at the last minute today.

First in State

The track is the first to go into operation in West Virginia under the racing law which was passed by the recent session of legislature. Racing comes under the direction of the State Department of Agriculture and J. B. McCaughlin, commissioner, who has been much interested in the project, is expected to be present tomorrow. Neither he or a representative, will act as chief steward during the twenty-day meet.

Hotels and private rooming houses in Charles Town have noted increased business and hotels in this city also contained their quota of guests. Special trains, it was understood, will also run daily from Baltimore and Washington. The train's terminus is a platform within 100 feet of the track entrance.

Eight State Troopers will be on duty at Charles Town during the racing meet on the new track, Corporal H. D. Ancil, in charge of the Martinsburg post, stated Friday. Four and possibly five of the detachment are coming from posts in Central and Southern West Virginia, it is understood.