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Fairfield Dog Track

Fairfield Dog Track, despite Ohio laws against gambling at the time, operated in the summers of 1927 and 1928. The dogs raced 60 nights in the summer of 1927 at the track on the east side of Dixie Highway, north of Gilmore Road and south of Michael Lane (then in Fairfield Township). It operated more than 100 summer nights in 1928, despite efforts by the sheriff to close the track., also called the Stockton Dog Track. "A quantity of structural steel deposited at the site of the former Wedekind Flying Field on Dixie Highway, near Stockton, gave credence to reports that a $50,000 track and grandstand is to be erected there at once as a dog racing plant," said a newspaper May 16, 1927. Newspapers later said $126,000 was spent in building the track. With an estimated betting take of $7,000 to $10,000 nightly, plus admission income, it was estimated that track owners recouped their original investment in only 12 nights. Stockholders in Springdale Amusement Company, its legal name, were never revealed. Opening night June 30, 1927, attracted more than 5,000 people. There was no admission charge and no betting for the eight-race exhibition program that night. Track operators believed they had devised a system circumventing Ohio laws that prohibited betting on dog races. Instead of pari-mutuel tickets, patrons could buy "certificates" (similar to shares of stock) on the dogs for $2 a share. After each race, "dividends" were declared on the winning dogs and the "shareholders" displayed their "certificates" to claim their payment. During those two Prohibition years, those with a passion for gambling could wager on thoroughbred horse races by day at the Butler County Fairgrounds (also in Fairfield Township), and the dog races by night, despite some local objections. If they couldn't get to the tracks, they could still place bets at several bookies in the area.

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