The False Start Jerome Park N.Y.

The False Start Jerome Park N.Y.

A color print of a starting line beside filled grandstands at a race track. The judges in the two octagonal viewing stands seem surprised to see five horses start before five others were in starting position. The scene is therefore one of great confusion. Banners and pennants fly from the roof of the grandstands. The largest one bears the symbol of Jerome Park – a horseshoe, a whip, and stirrups. The architecture is gracefully ornate. The stands have slender columns, wooden lattice work, and classical pediments. The stands for the judges have carved wooden finials and striped roofs. The jockeys wear colorful jackets.
Jerome Park Racetrack opened on September 25, 1866 in Fordham, Westchester County, New York, which now forms part of the Bronx. The American Jockey Club operated this facility on what was once the Bathgate estate. It was owned by Leonard W. Jerome, who helped found the Jockey Club, and August Belmont, Sr. The course was known as “The Bluff” and hosted the first Belmont Stakes in honor of its owner and President of the Jockey Club in 1867. It ran there until 1890 until it was moved to the Morris Park Racetrack. Visits to Jerome Park were integral to New York City social life. In 1894, Jerome Park was scheduled to be turned into a reservoir for the city because the popularity of racing had begun to decline and “bookmaking” was introduced, lowering the class of the facility to the chagrin of the American Jockey Club, which later banned the activity. The prohibition of betting was the final factor in the downfall of Jerome Park.
William J. Robertson is credited with the middle initials C,G, and J. He lived in New York City as a lithographer from 1865-1868. It is believed he may have created some of the works published by T. Kelly including some of the Civil War Prints.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Object Type
Date made
Kelly, Thomas
Robertson, William C.
place made
United States: New York, New York City
associated place
United States: New York, Jerome Park Reservoir
image: 18 in x 24 1/2 in; 45.72 cm x 62.23 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Harry T. Peters "America on Stone" Lithography Collection
Architecture, Commercial Buildings
Chronology: 1860-1869
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object