In 1919 the first recognized commercial racetr…

In 1919 the first recognized commercial racetrack for greyhounds in the United States was built in Emeryville, Calif., by Owen Patrick Smith and the Blue Star Amusement Company.
The track featured Smith’s new invention, the mechanical lure, thought to offer a more humane alternative to live lures used in traditional greyhound field coursing. By 1930, 67 dog tracks had opened across the country with none of them legal.
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Racetracks were regularly exposed as venues for illegal gambling and related criminal activities. Tracks would run for a day or a week before being raided, and open once the coast was clear. Rumors of fixed races and drugged dogs lent to the negative reputations.
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In 1927 Mr. Smith opened a 4,000 seat, $50,000 facility in Erlanger Kentucky. At around the same time a bid to recognize dog racing to become legal was brought before the U.S. Supreme Court but the courts found that horse tracks qualified under the state statute, but dog tracks did not.
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The first state to allow dog tracks to operate legally was Florida in 1931 and by 1935, there were ten licensed tracks operating in the state. In 1933 Oregon and in 1934 Massachusetts became the next states to legally allow dog racing with Massachusetts doing it in hopes for a source of income due to the Great Depression. Arizona became the fourth state to legalize dog racing during the Depression era.
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Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, greyhound racing was legalized and operational in 19 states, dog racing reached its peak being he 6th most popular sport in the country.
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#f4f #puppies #horse #horseracing #whippet #saluki #sightdog (at Rosemead, California)