CHAPTER LVIII. THE RACES.

The old "Fashion Course," on Long Island, which was formerly the scene of the triumphs of the monarchs of the turf, has of late been eclipsed by the course at "Jerome Park," in West Chester county. This course is situated near Fordham, and is the private property of Mr. Leonard W. Jerome. The grounds are large, and handsomely ornamented, and the race- course has been prepared with great care and skill. The meetings of the American Jockey Club are held here. They attract vast crowds. The best points of view, and the most beautiful parts of the grounds, are reserved exclusively for the use of the members of the club and their friends, and the remainder of the enclosure has been thrown open to the public. Mr. Jerome's liberality is appreciated by the outside throng, and the races are not marred with any act of rowdyism or lawlessness.

The races are the occasion of a great deal of money changing hands. Bets are freely offered and taken on the various horses, and the struggle of the noble beasts is watched by thousands of anxious eyes. The greatest excitement prevails amongst the elite in the private stands, as well as throughout the common herd below. Every eye is strained to watch the swift coursers as they whirl down the track, and when the quarter-stretch is gained, the excitement is beyond all control. The victor steed flashes with lightning speed by the judges' stand amidst a storm of cheers and yells of delight. Bayonet, Bonnie Lass, and Stonewall Jackson, are the favorites, and the winning horses during the present season.

The course is still new, but the system which it has inaugurated is becoming more thorough every year. The management is in the hands of gentlemen of character, who are seeking to make at least one place in the country where the blackguards and reckless gamblers who disgrace the American turf shall be powerless to control affairs. The benefits of this management will be very great. The stock of the State will be vastly improved, and the metropolis, especially, will be able to boast some of the finest blooded racers in the world.

During the meetings, the road from the city to the course, which lies through the Central Park, presents a scene richly worth witnessing. It is thronged with brilliant equipages, and some of the finest and most dashing horses to be seen in America. All classes are represented. You will see Commodore Vanderbilt, with his fine buggy and splendid trotters, while, behind him, follows hard a butcher's cart and its merry occupants, the fiery little cob throwing the dirt in the eyes of many a Fifth Avenue team. The greatest good humor is manifested on all sides, and all press forward eagerly to witness the sport in store for them at "Jerome Park."