Racetrack scene – two riders and horses at front center, audience of viewers filling both sides of track. Lots of oranges, browns and blues. Race specifics listed for both May 10 and May 13 and identification of riders.
After Charles Severin (American, 1820-death date unknown)
One of the most popular sports in the 19th century was horseracing. Thoroughbred races were especially well attended because of the drama, the speed and the money wagered. One of the famous contests Currier & Ives commemorated was between Peytona and Fashion. The competition, dubbed “the Race of the Century,” was worth $20,000 for the winner. It is estimated that nearly 90,000 spectators lined Long Island’s Union Course to watch the epic race. Peytona, bred in Alabama, and Fashion, from New Jersey, pitted the South against the North and reflected the growing tensions before the Civil War. Peytona, even after traveling 1,500 miles to the race, won the contest with more than a two-second lead.