And They're Off!

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CROWD WATCHES AS HORSES ARE LED TO THE TRACK, SUFFOLK DOWNS, 1939. Leslie Jones Collection, BPL Print Department. 

 Horses make their way from the paddock past the clubhouse en route to the track as curious spectators line the path.

From 1930 to 1970, horse races were among the most popular and widely attended sporting events nationwide, competing with only baseball for fans’ affections. 

Attendance boomed during the first decade of the track, topping out at a daily average of 18,388 people filling the stands in 1945. In 1946, people wagered a record average of $1,164,240 on each race day.