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Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
Charles Town, West Virginia
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April 30, 1959     Spirit of Jefferson Farmers Advocate
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April 30, 1959
 

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. [ ....................... Like the chicken or the egg, leering job that would outshine all which comes first at a nig'ht race i past attempts at night lighting. track-the lights or the hor,~es. ~ Both are important, and you can't 'r One of the key points to under have one withot|t the other Haw:standing the best use of light, is ever, in this instance the empha-' to realize that "light can shape sis will be put on the most import- space.'" ant element of racing under the No Resemblance stars. ; Thinking of a major league ball Shenandoal~ Downs is the best park, we know that the lighted lie'hted race track, unsurpassed in space is like a huge inverted mix- brilliance and uniformity any-ing bowl. The tall towers and lar where in the United States...or the ge clusters of lights insure that world, the outfielders can see the hiffhest But we are getting a little ahead pop-fly. But a ball park has no of our story, resemblance to a race track. The original concept, of Shen- andoah Downs, as a 5/8 mile flat ~-lnning track proposed for night racing, together with the oppor- tunities offered in designing the st~fip and its lighting system sim- ultaneously, had to be given the best, engineering treatment to in- sure an outstanding result. The excellent location at Char- Essentially, a race track is a strip and therefore, the best type of lighting is a strip lighting or something that might be called a "t, mnel of, hghV' cut into the dark ness of the night. The tunnel has to be just a little wider than the track, perhaps one hundred feet ~wide at most. And in them'y, only high enough to adequately clear the top of the jockeys' heads. los Town, W. Va., at the head ofi Actual height of the "tunnel of beautiful Shenandoah Valley, gave i light" averages about twelve feet further inspiration to do an engin ' at Shenandoah Downs. This idea How's About A Ride in Sky-Car The maintenance electrician at new Shenandoah Downs doesn't haNe it easy all the time. Here he is aboard his sky-car, a clever ln~ention used for servicing the 600-foot battery of high powered spStlight along the roof edge of the grandstand and club house. Something goes wrong, a bulb blows? The electrician jumps to his sky-car and with bicycle action pedals along on his monorail to the trouble spot. It's safer than long ladders, and all climbing is eliminated. ;T AND NEWEST, BRIGHTEST TRACK IN AMERICA I of a ".tunnel of light" is a new concept for race track lighting, and it involved many careful en- gineering calculations and studies to arrive at the lighting system finally installed. If every floor lamp or bridge lamp in the Eastern Panhandle of ARTHUR HAMILTON, JR. Arthur S. Hamilton, Jr., consult ing engineer of Rochester, New York, des~igned and supervised the night lighting pattern for Shen- andoah Downs, the nation's new- est thoroughbred track, and the world's most brilliantly lllttmina- ted racing strip. HamiltoWs me- thod, a new application of power and light distribution, is known as a "tunnel of litrht", and wax cus- tom-fitted to Shenandoah Downs. H,amil~ton is now working on a lighting system for Suffolk Dowfis at Boston, the first one-mile har- ness track in the country. Mr. and Mrs. Hamil`ton will be two of ~he most interested witnesses to Shen- andoah Downs' grand opening weekend, Friday and Saturday, May 1-2. Horse Racing From Page 4 had pari-mutuel wagering on hor- ses. Within a year or two when the late Senator Milton O. Rouss of Charles Town began strongly sup porting a bill for le.galizlng rac- ing in West Virginia, more inter- est began ;to develop in the S,port. Even before ~he Sport of Kings was legalized in the state, those interested in building a race rtrack in West Virginia began looking a- round for a site. Several places in ,the area were considered. But when it was found that ,there was already a small race track near Charles Town. which was owned by the Charles Town Horse Show Association, and wa,~ being used only once a year, overtures were made to this group and an agree- ment was worked out. Get Horse Show Ground~ The group Interested in build- ing a race track ~t Charles Town was then known as ~he "Shenan- doah Valley Jockey Club." This or ganlzation entered into a 30-year agreement with the Charles Town Horse Show A~sociation whereby tl~e horse show grounds, located on the Ea~stern edge of Charles Town where the present Charles Town l~ce track is located, were turned over to them. This land was adde~) to o~her grounds which the jockey club purchased so as to have room to build a three-quar ter mite track. In return for turning th~s land and ~their facilities over to the Shenandoah Valley Jockey Club, the Horse Show Association was given authorization for full use of t~he completed track and facilities ~Ior the purpose of holding an an- nual horse show and racing. With the legalizin,g of part-rout uel betting In the state, the law provided that "fairs", and ',horse Show's" could operwte for three days exempted from the daily $250 per day license fee. Later the number of days was changed to four and still later to six. Today. %his ~greement still ex- ist~s, and once again this year tJhe WeSt Virginia Racing Comml&sion ......................................... will allocate da.tes for the annual Upside Down Rider Don't think you are seeing things, if a man appears to be pedaling ~an upside-down bicycle along the under side of the grand stands and club house. I,t's just the track electrician going out in his special service sky-car to check up on the spotlights to n~ke certain all is well. The sky- car gives t~he electrician the safest and fastest way to handle main- tenance. ,He can trgvel Che nearly six hundred feet of monorail track in a li%tle over a minute, ac- tually faster than walking, and so much safer than using a tall lad- der to climb up and down to chan ge a spotlight bulb, The main entrances, roadways, ; ;)arking lots, the stable enclosure and all buildings also received the same careful at~ten.tion to pro- vide the right amount of light ~or the purpose it serves. To further spectator enjoyment a special theatrical effect was in- stalled in the lighting system., Not ice that when the announcer calls "One minute to post ~time", the track lichts increase in brilliance. And when he calls, "Tlley're dff'~, the club house and grandstan~l lights are dimmed to increase Che contrast, and make the horses easier to see. As soon as the 'horses h~ve cross ed the finish line, the club hous~ WHILE ATTENDING THE RACES MAKE West Virginia were brought ~o Shenandoah Downs, set up on top of t'he inside rail and all turned dn i a, t once, we would have a "tunnel of light". If we spaced these floor lamps as close together as possib- le, it would take ten thousand lamps, each with a 100-wwtt bulb, just to equal the amount of power being used for track lighting at Shenandoah Downs. Twice As Bright Actual lighting at Shenandoah Downs is twice as bright, as out" example of the floor lamps, be- cause of the extra efficiency pos- sible with the specially selected and designed light reflectors. And of course, the specially designed poles interfere less with watching the horses run than i,f we had all those floor lamps sitting up on the inside rail. The amount of light delivered from the fixtures on the poles a- round the infield of the track is four times as strong as the aver- age light in an office or factory, and over ten times as strong as the light in the average living- room at home. The back stretch and the turns are lighted three times brighter than any other race track any- where. In the home stretch, where ev- eryone wants to w~tch his favor- ite pull out from behind and sprint down to win by a nose, the lighting has to be given an extra boos. Poles are used along the out side of both turns and at the head and grandstand lights rettjrn, t/} normal bril~anee, so one can.~ clearly to go down to eas, h tht winning ~icket: After the ~Inr~ln~ 'horse has received i~ ~ccol~de from l.he crowd, Che track llght~ are dimmed until Vhe next race: ~. What a lighting system! The best! : .:,. Power Supply Interesting ,: The 'power supply ,behind ~H this is also quite In,tere~dng. The Potomac IAght and Power Cam', ,pany t~pped t~ 13,000 volt lines .tO bring a special line ,to 'Shen,a~- doah Downs property and Install ed a 'power sub-stati0n large en- ou~ to supply practically all the .homes in Jefferson County. The ,power control room @t the rear of Che grandstand reqtdres an expert electrician to operate the complex Ins~t~llation. The pow er handled ,here is 4,160 volts for cor~trol and dlstribu,bion to the many plant building and ~reas. Each plant str,acture again has transformers axed switches bring Vhe power to water he~ters, bake ovens, stoves, and of course to ull of the home stretch, but cannot be used in front of ,the grand- stand or club house because they might interfere with seeing the horses. So, in these areas the lights are mounted in a closely- spaced row just under ,the top edge of the roofs of these two buildings. These powerful grandstand and club house spotlights make the ~home stretch over'twice as bright as the rest of the track and five times brigh.ter ethan any other race track anywhere. Please note t~hottgh, that despite all the light available for watching the hor- ses, that none of it is ,thrown back into your eyes. regardless of where you may be siting or stand lng. lighting outlets to make racing under the stars at Shenandoah Downs ,the be~ in the world. The club house alone uses ~,s much l~wer is a good-sized indus trial plane. The wire and conduit meterials necessary for an installation the size of Shenandoah Downs was ordered by the mile. rather by ~l~e foot. The ,track liffh.tlng alone used over 15 mi.les of wire and cab le, and over two miles of conduit, The sepcial bulbs for track ligl~- ing were ordered by the hundrt~ks, not picked up one or ~mvo ~t a time at the super-market. It's a big story! COme to Shen- andoah Downs to see the wonder ful job performed by ,t~e elect~lcal engineers ~tnd crews e~o provide ,track fans wi%h the best-l.lghted track in the world. You can wato Y 0 U R H E A D Q U A R E R S Turner Was Sieward At Charles Town John P, Turner, St., who will serve as steward at the Inaugur~.l meeting of the new Shen,tndoa~ Downs race track, held a similar post when Charles Town Introduc- ed ~horou~hbred racing, i~t Charles Town in 1933. "Pop" Turner, ~ he Is known to thousands of race g~ers, h~ served as racing secretary, stew- ar~ and IM'al'ng j,adge for more .ffnan 25 years at tracks In W~t AIR- CONDITIONED FOR AND RELAXING COMFORT. COMPLETELY YOUR DINING ,~how. Al,though the first try at legali- zed racing ~6 Charles Town, which wax also the first place In West Virginia where it wa~ tried, wax .beset by snow, rain and an un- finished track, l, he late A. J. Boy le never lost fait;h in racing in ,this area. And from 1934 when he assumed oon~rol of :the Charles Town track until :the present, ev- ery 'raci.ng ~ssion hax been a mon ey-maker. It wax not, however, un ,til af%er World W~r II, chat rac- ing t Charles Town real!y hit ~he jackpot. Since then more and more rac- ing far~s, horses and horsemen have been pouring into Charles Town and ~t~hls year of 1959 is ex- ,petted to see this sport reach an all-time peak with 200 racing days scheduled for Shenandoah Downs and the Charles Town track. READ THE CLASSIFIEDS SPIRIT OF JEFFERSON rxa izas 6--B THURSDAY, APRIL ,' .,....>., ...> :.' .......... :.:.:.:.:.:.'.:. +:. +...:,:.:.:.:.:.: ,: