Washington Park Racetrack

Washington Park Racetrack (HM1MTW)

Location: Homewood, IL 60430 Cook County
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Country: United States of America
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N 41° 33.995', W 87° 38.215'

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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 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.
Year Placed2012
Placed ByVillage of Homewood Heritage Committee and the Illinois State Historical Society
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, August 13th, 2015 at 9:04am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)16T E 446895 N 4601852
Decimal Degrees41.56658333, -87.63691667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 41° 33.995', W 87° 38.215'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds41° 33' 59.7" N, 87° 38' 12.9" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)708
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 17750 Halsted St, Homewood IL 60430, US
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