It has been far too long between Turf Times publications, and although there are many, we will spare you the excuses (for it’s actually one of our mottos): Never make excuses, which comes second only to History is written by the victors. We have not stopped our research about America’s first national pastime, for there is enough to fill a book, and that’s what we’ve been embroiled in—the writing of a book. While Turf Times postings won’t be weekly as they once were, please check back regularly for future articles.
So without further excuses, and in honor of next week’s Breeders’ Cup World Championships, we’re going to revisit one from the Turf Times vault—a riveting tale in four parts, the story of the 1823 Great Match Race between the North and South.
This regional match-up was so highly anticipated by the American people that it drew an estimated 60,000 fans (20,000 of whom traveled from the South) to Long Island’s Union Course. Imagine this scene of nearly two centuries ago at the Union—“Booths erecting, Flags Flying, Pigs roasting, Fiddlers tuning, and all dust and confusion”—as the masses gathered to witness the race, this 19th century crowd rivaling the attendance numbers of one Breeders’ Cup day!
And now we present—The Great Match Race between the North and South. Click here for Part I., and you will find the link to each subsequent part in the series at the end of each article.
Editor, Antebellum Turf Times