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Las Vegas Thoroughbred Racing Assocaition signed by Joseph M. Smoot - Nevada, 1950
Beautiful certificate from the Las Vegas Thoroughbred Racing Assn
Company issued in 1950. This historic document was printed by the Chipron Stamp Company and has an ornate border around it with company header. Also included are the investor's package of documents including beautiful brochure with artwork of the racing grounds and the original porspectus. This item has the signatures of the Company’s President, Joseph Smoot and Secretary, Sejmour Vons and is over 62 years old.
The Las Vegas Thoroughbred Racing Association, organized to build a racetrack in Las Vegas, Nevada, was financially unsuccessful and became the subject of a bankruptcy proceeding. As part of a plan of reorganization, the Las Vegas Jockey Club was incorporated in March 1953. Under the plan, the Jockey Club issued $2,000,000 of 6 per cent mortgage bonds and $42,500 par value Class A stock. Holdings of bonds and Class A stock were proportionate, with one thousand shares of $0.02 par value stock held for each $1,000 in bonds. In addition, Class B stock was issued to a minority group, consisting of preferred stockholders and bondholders of Jockey Club's predecessor, the Las Vegas Thoroughbred Association. Taxpayer invested about $90,000 in par value Jockey Club mortgage bonds and the accompanying Class A stock.
Joseph M. Smoot hitched a ride from lawyer Hank Greenspun to get from New York in the eastern United States to Las Vegas. He claimed to have helped build tracks in California and Florida which turned out to be untrue. The track was built to be a major horse racing facility on the south side of Las Vegas. Smoot funded the track by convincing 8000 shareholders to give him $2 million. "Old Joe knew a track wouldn't have a chance and he said so when he came here in 1946," Greenspun later said in his biography. After the construction was delayed well past its original opening date, Smoot published an apology in a local newspaper. Smoot and two others were charged with felony embezzlement after he could not provide receipts for missing $500,000. A trustee was appointed by a federal judge to run the track. Smoot remained indicted until he was found dead in a hotel room two years later.
On September 4, 1953 the track was opened named the Las Vegas Jockey Club. Ticket booths and tote boards did not work properly and only one entrance discouraged customers. Customers had to wait one hour in traffic to park and some went home without attending. 8200 customers attended in the first day and the board of directors closed the track for two weeks after the third day to replace the ticket booths. The track was rapidly losing money, so the board closed after operating 13 days. It opened back up in 1954 to host quarter horse racing but closed after seven weeks.
In 1924, Joseph M. Smoot established the Miami Jockey Club and constructed a racetrack and grandstand adjacent to the greyhound track. The Hialeah Racetrack that opened on January 15, 1925 consisted of a clubhouse, an administrative building, a paddock area, and twenty-one stables. Near the track, a fronton for the Spanish sport of jai-alai was constructed, the first in the Miami area.
1951 - Reported in the News -
LAS VEGAS, Nev, July 6 01 P)
Sejmour Vons, former secretarytreasurer
and director of the Las
Vegas Thoroughbred R a c i n g
Assn was charged with forgerj
today for allegedlj using a faked
stock certificate to buy an expensive
District Attorney Roger Foley
who issued the complaint said
Voris signed the name of Joseph
M Smooth president of the company
to a certificate for 2 000
shares of stock in the Las Vegas
Park Race Track The bogus
stock Foley said \\as turned
over to a Los Angeles automobile
dealei in payment for a car
Voris whereabouts now is unknown
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