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  Biggest Little Track in America !     

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Ascot Park was located in Cuyahoga Falls, which is six miles from Akron and twenty five miles from Cleveland. The track was a three quarter mile dirt oval which featured an open air grandstand and clubhouse, which were in separate buildings on either side of the paddock. The majority of races were were run at the distance of about four and one half furlongs, which was known as The Ascot Course. Races at one mile and five sixteenth, were run on the Akron Course. The 1966 program listed an apprentice named Eddie Maple, as one of the leading jockeys.   

Ascot Park started out in 1922, over the years because of it's six furlong oval it billed itself as "the biggest little track in America". Located in Cuyahoga Falls a suburb of Akron it split dates with it's three cousins to the north in Cleveland, Cranwood Park, Randall Park and Thistledown's. Ironically they would all end up in the same pot.

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 Early in the 1960's Edward DeBartolo a real estate developer started buying up Cleveland area racetracks. By the mid sixties he owned them all. Because of the poor conditions of the facilities he shut them all except Thistledown's. With closing the tracks he moved their meets to Thistledown's so you had a Ascot at Thistledown's meet, a Randall at Thistledown meet and a Cranwood at Thistledown meet.

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 Getting back to Ascot Park, it had the misfortune of starting out the Cleveland season in the early spring and only had an open air grandstand. The last season was in 1968, the Ohio Racing Commission refused the track dates in 1969 unless major improvements were made. In a bit of trivia in the 1960's during a race a falling jockey was aided by another who came along side to help him, somehow both slipped and ended up in each others saddles finishing the race on a different horse.

Obviously, I never made it to Ascot Park, but I'm sure I'm not alone. There are probably not many people around who did! Still it fits the timeline and is part of racing history.