Morris Park 1905

This is a map of the Morris Park race track to commemorate its opening as an auto racing facility on May 21, 1905. In reality, the course was a horse track that had lost the support of the New York horse racing community who, because of changes in Parimutuel betting laws, turned their attention to the newly completed Belmont Park race track. Previous to the opening of Belmont Park, the Belmont Stakes had been held at Morris Park. Repurposed as an auto racing facility, the track struggled financially until it was sold to developers and eventually closed entirely in 1910. The rabid newspaper campaign against track racing after the August 1905 accidents injuring top stars Barney Oldfield, Webb Jay and Earl Kiser came at a terrible time for the facility.
In addition to the May opener, Morris Park hosted two additional significant 1905 auto race meets held in June and July. Pictured in the inset of the above image is Louis Chevrolet in Major Charles Miller's 90 horsepower Fiat. Talking to him is the long-time AAA official and the referee of the first Indianapolis 500 Art Pardington.

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