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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Homewood in Cook County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Washington Park Racetrack

 
 
Washington Park Racetrack Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 7, 2015
1. Washington Park Racetrack Marker
Inscription.  Opening on July 3, 1926, with the American Derby and a $100,000 purse, Washington Park Racetrack, built by Washington Park Corporation and Illinois Jockey Club, became a home for the nation's finest thoroughbreds. Colonel Matt Winn and the American Turf Association bought the track in 1929. Ben Lindheimer and Associates acquired the track in 1935. A record crowd of 57,036 turned out on Labor Day 1946 to see 'Armed' break the track record of a mile and a quarter.

Racing here were prominent stables including Calumet and Dixiana with great horses Sun Beau, Whirlaway, Citation, and Round Table. Willie Shoemaker and Bill Hardtack battled for national jockey honors in the early 1950s. Nashua, jockeyed by Eddie Arcaro, beat Swaps, jockeyed by Willie Shoemaker, by 6 1/2 lengths in the "Greatest Match Race in American Thoroughbred History" on August 31, 1955. A.C. Nielsen estimated that the millions of viewers of this race made television-sporting history.

Marje Lindheimer Everett rebuilt, enclosed the plant in glass in 1962, and introduced harness racing. Other owners included Gulf & Western industries. Lastly, Madison Square Garden
Washington Park Racetrack Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 7, 2015
2. Washington Park Racetrack Marker
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Corporation introduced nationally recognized entertainers in a concert venue. Illinois' first Sunday pari-mutuel racing in 1976 and first winter thoroughbred racing in 1977 were granted to Washington Park.

The racetrack's grandstand and clubhouse burned in a colossal fire on February 5, 1977, bringing an end to the track's rich history.
 
Erected 2012 by Village of Homewood Heritage Committee and the Illinois State Historical Society.
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentSports. In addition, it is included in the Illinois State Historical Society series list. A significant historical month for this entry is February 1862.
 
Location. 41° 33.995′ N, 87° 38.215′ W. Marker is in Homewood, Illinois, in Cook County. Marker is at the intersection of Halstead Street (Illinois Route 1) and Maple Avenue, on the right when traveling south on Halstead Street. In the parking lot opposite the McDonald's. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 17750 Halstead Street, Homewood IL 60430, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Dixie Highway connected Chicago to Miami in the early days of automobile travel (approx. 1˝ miles away); Dixie Highway (approx. 1˝ miles away); Camp Thornton #2605 and the Civil Conservation Corps (approx. 2.1 miles
Washington Park Racetrack Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 7, 2015
3. Washington Park Racetrack Marker
away); Site of Absolem Wells Cabin (approx. 4.1 miles away); Chicago Heights (approx. 4.2 miles away); Matteson, Illinois (approx. 5.9 miles away); Dedicated to Adam Brown (approx. 5.9 miles away); Park Forest, Illinois (approx. 6.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Homewood.
 
Additional keywords. Horse Racing
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on August 12, 2015, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 406 times since then and 36 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on August 12, 2015, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

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Jul. 29, 2021