Although the dancing and talk went on till the small hours, everybody was out at the fairgrounds the next afternoon by one o'clock. The same could not be said for the sun. During the night temperatures had dropped to 30� below, and at 1:30 it was about 6� with a stiff breeze. These people who normally are phlegmatic about cold were hopping up and down and complaining energetically to warm themselves, their weathered faces alarming shades of purple and red. Auctioneer Darwin Lockhart needed a lot of cajoling to heat up interest in the Calcuttas.
But the best races, grouped at the beginning of the program, matched the fastest times of the first day and were so hotly contested that they rekindled excitement. Toomer's reformed bucking horses beat Baker by one-hundredth of a second in a time of 23.08, the best of the championships. Bub Mathisen's sorrels scrambled past Joe France 24.02 to 24.08. Red Mathisen, going off as an underdog to San ford, was clocked in exactly the same time, 23.98. Only the photo-finish camera showed Mathisen the winner.
After that, until Clarence Wheeler upset Chivers in the last race, cups of hot chili and coffee from the Kiwanis concession were a great help. But as the last teams were slipped out of their tugs and loin straps and walked, breath steaming in the zero cold, men with hundreds of miles of icy road to drive lingered surprisingly long. The romance of runners on squeaking snow and the muffled hooffalls of dark horses gliding over smooth whiteness seemed to hold them. Despite the occasional wheels and bicycle banana seats and oil-drum origin of some of the cutters much of the scene was out of old lithographs and brought to mind what British Writer George Makepeace Towle saw when he described an American winter: "On some cold November morning you wake up to hear, in every direction, hundreds of liquid tinkling bells. You glance out of your bedroom window; the earth is clothed, the houses are mantled with a heavy feathery crust of snow, and hither and thither are jingling sleighs, the whips are lustily cracking, the horses themselves feel the infection in the air, and run briskly, jumping and bounding as if they too rejoiced that the snow had come. Sleighs of every sort and size; shell-shaped sleighs, lavishly adorned, brass-rimmed; heavy square sleighs, full of buffalo robes and wrappers; sleighs which are but carts on runners, in one of which your milkman dashes up, and from which he brings out his long tin can...great excursion sleighs, painted gaudily and with quaint figureheads...."
And cutters, racing.