Tombstone Silver

Doling Driving Park

Tombstone had a racetrack on the edge of town and I found a few newspaper articles about events there.


Introduction

Placeholder Picture

Many of the folks who visit Tombstone do not realize that we had a racetrack (the Doling Driving Park) out on the west edge of town. The site was operated by John Doling and included a saloon and stable. Numerous events took place at the Driving Park, including horse racing, boxing, foot races, shooting matches, and social events. There is nothing left of the site today, but the photo at the right (taken from Google maps) shows what is believed to be the track. The photo shows the west end of Allen Street at the lower right corner, where there is an electrical substation today. Allen divides into Schieffelin Monument Road (top) and Moonlight Road (bottom) and between those two roads is a barely-visible oval which is all that's left of the Driving Park.

Newspaper Accounts

The following stories about Doling's were found in the Tombstone Epitaph. 


Races Last Monday

Good Sport and Plenty of Fun

The races at Doling's driving park last Monday afternoon were not as well attended as they should be. However, there was a very respectable gathering, with unlimited enthusiasm, and an overflow of fun. The race track is about a mile and a quarter from the heart of the city, on the old Contention road. The track is a very good one, the arrangements perfect, and it is astonishing why the grand sport of horse racing is not more generally indulged in. The track was laid out about a couple of years ago by Doling. A nice saloon building and office has been erected on the grounds, and a stable, perfect in its arrangements, has also been built. This latter building contains nine comfortable stalls, and is a model of neatness. The bar is well supplied with liquors and cigars, and the truck is kept in perfect repair.

The great race yesterday was between J. O. Dunbar's Comanche Joe and F. B Boarman's Prince. This contest has been the subject of more than ordinary interest for the past week, and warm partisans of both horses were on the ground yesterday. Keno Ike sold pools on the race, and most of the spectators present took a shy at the goddess of chance. Comanche Joe was the favorite at the pool table, though Prince had quite a number of backers. Promptly at three o'clock the horses were drawn up in front of the judges' stand. Comanche Joe was ridden by W. I. Perry, and was not in good condition in consequence of a severe sickness he underwent the day previous. J. H. Behan and Bob Turner were chosen Judges, and A. T. Jones was appointed referee. The horses started off in fine style, but ere a hundred yards were passed over, it was easily to be seen that Joe would be the winner. The horses were both handled well, and Comanche passed the judges' stand some thirty feet ahead of his competitor. Time of race fifty-two seconds. The amount of money that changed hands on the event was away up in the hundreds and the lucky ones were loud in praise of the winning horse, while the disappointed ones were equally displeased with the performance of Prince.

The next race was a scrub gathering, and four horses were entered. Mr. Dunbar's black was the lucky winner, and Perry the successful rider of the "star" contest also carried off this prize. Henry Fry, the owner of one of the "racers," was not satisfied, and another challenge went forth. This time & mile heat was run, the two others being half mile dashes. Perry was again the winter, though the "sorrel" proved himself game, and John Lang, the rider, performed his part to perfection. Considerable money changed hands on the last contest, the spectators being about equally divided on the merits of the horses. The best of good feeling prevailed, and everybody left satisfied with the day's sport. A number of ladies graced the occasion with their presence, and took a lively interest in the result of the different contests.

Doling has offered a purse of sixty-five dollars, free to all saddle horses, to-day, and those who fail to attend will miss the great event of the season.


Running Races

How the "Boys" Amused Themselves at Doling's Park

While the baseball match was in progress at the park last Thursday, the indefatigable Jack Doling gave a purse of $100 free for all, half mile dash; for which Durkee entered his fine saddle horse, Captain; Brophy entered his brown saddle horse, Browney; and Brown his racker, Kentuckian. The judges were Sheriff' J. H. Behan, Richard Rule and Mike Smith. Captain was the favorite in the pools, of which a large number were sold, the odds being about three to one. A good start was obtained at the first trial, and by the time the turn was reached Captain showed about half a length to the front, Browney second. Before the lower turn was reached the latter flew the track, and took a short cut for the home stretch, where he joined the others, but despite his peculiar method of running, was beaten by some half dozen lengths by Captain, who came in under a strong pull. No time taken. All the sports fell by the wayside, they backing Browney, while the supposed unsophisticated raked in the ducats on Captain.

The second race was a dash of a quarter of mile between Captain and Eccleston's Billy. The former was again the favorite in the pools. Judges, Mike Smith and Sheriff-elect Ward. Captain had about half length the best at the start, which he easily increased to three lengths at the outcome. In this, as in the first race, the sporting men got left. Altogether, the races were spirited and interesting, and much credit is due Jack Doling for his efforts to contribute to the amusement of those present.


Races

The attendance at the race track yesterday was not as good as the races deserved. The first race was a 400 yard dash between Ben Maynard's Fashion sad Igo's black mare, Igo to beat the Fashion twenty feet, for a purse of $100.

Mr. Doling had built a straight track which was all that could be desired. About 2 o'clock the horses were called up and with a good start the old gray coming out under the wire twenty feet ahead of the mare.

After the first race which was the chief event of the day, a race was made up between the old gray and Tweed's colt for $25 a side, a half-mile dash, which was won by the gray. Several other scrub races were then gotten up, which concluded the day's sport.


The organization of the Fair Association by a number of public-spirited citizens, was effected this week by the election of A. J. Ritter, president; J. S. Taylor, secretary, and H. A. Tweed. treasurer. The following are the directors: A. J. Ritter, V. C. Wilson, J. H. Campbell, W. B. Benson and H. A. Tweed. The association has purchased the Doling race track, and intends to greatly improve the same by erecting a grand stand and other buildings.


Location

The Doling Driving Park is located just beyond the west end of Allen Street, just outside town. It is west of an electrical substation at that location. The Goodenough Historic Trolley Tour stops at an overlook of the Scheiffelin Monument near here and I point out the location of the old Doling Driving Park.