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The Washington DC neighbourhood of Benning is located in the north-east of the capital and is subsumed into the city, but that was not always the case. Back in 1890 it had its own racecourse which welcomed many politicians through the gates including, in one famous case, Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of Theodore Roosevelt.  The 150 acre site had been purchased in 1888 by the Washington Jockey Club, but it was to be a couple of years before the inaugural meeting was held on Tuesday 1st April 1890, the organisers were rewarded with a crowd in excess of 2000. Once gambling laws were more strictly imposed the death knell sounded for many tracks, and rang for the last time at Benning on 12th April 1908. After horse racing ceased the track was used for motor racing, but in 1915 the grandstand was burnt to the ground. Although all forms of racing ceased by the start of the First World War, the venue was still used as a training centre, but in 1928 the site was sold to Eastland Gardens Incorporated for half a million dollars, although it was a further 14 years before development plans were submitted in 1942. Eventually, in 1946 the developers built the Mayfair Mansions.

Local Patrons Washington Jockey Club
Course today The racecourse closed on 12th April 1908.
If you have photos, postcards, racecards. badges, newspaper cuttings or book references about the old course, or can provide a photo of how the ground on which the old racecourse stood looks today, then email

ISBN 978-0-9957632-0-3

652 pages

774 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-1-0

352 pages

400 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-2-7

180 pages

140 former courses

ISBN 978-0-9957632-3-4

264 pages

235 former courses

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