The ancient Roman sport of chariot racing has recently been revived by a well-known American sportsman, Mr Bill Veeck, at his Suffolk Downs racetrack near Boston.
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TRACKING SHOT..race continuing (2 shots)
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SV Winner being fed grapes
SPORT: CHARIOT RACING
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Background: The ancient Roman sport of chariot racing has recently been revived by a well-known American sportsman, Mr Bill Veeck, at his Suffolk Downs racetrack near Boston.
Mr Veeck bought four of the chariots in the recent auctions of props, sets and costumes by the M.G.M. Film studios, in Hollywood. the fifth was in payment for a speaking engagement at the Las Vegas nightclub "Caesar's Palace."
The jockeys were local radio disc-"jockeys" and they were colourful Roman togas in place of racing silks. Since thoroughbred horses couldn't pull the heavy chariots, five teams of good-looking work-horses, who usually pull crowds on hay-rides, were used instead.
According to the programme notes at the Suffolk Downs racetrack, the half-mile heats (0.8 kilometres) were for "maiden horses who had not won a race since 620 BC"
Although the racing was gimmick, the promoter Mr Veeck was wise enough to know that with inexperienced drivers anything could happen and a bright-red ambulance was never far away.
The two heat winners met in the final to decide the winner. The prize at stake was GBP250 sterling (600 U.S. dollars).
The winner was Don Latulippe and in addition to his prize money he received the victor's laurel wreath and a bunch of juicy grapes.