Page 4 of Selected Emails
Also read what people
wrote in my Roosevelt Raceway guestbook
Date: Tue, Oct 10, 2000, 3:50pm
hey jeff i wrote you a while back and i just came across your site again. i was reading the emails you received and was wondering if you might want to see if any of you readers could answer this trivia question. i think it would be fun to see if anyone knows Who is the biggest winner (single ticket) in the twin double at Roosevelt? post this question on your site as i am anxious to see if anyone can come up with the answer.i happen to know the answer cause it was my mom in 1964. i have all the clippings and pictures. hey she was even interviewed by gabe pressman. Believe it or not my mom was in Playboy. no not a pictorial just an interview. im sure if you have any questions she would be happy to answer them for you as she has great insight as she was there for the highest point in Roosevelt Raceway history. A part of history,
Date: Wed, Oct 4, 2000, 4:12pm
Some facts from the "History of Roosevelt Raceway" published in 1974:
In the building before the flea market closed, the very first pace car was fenced away on the first floor, there was a bronze statue of a horse by the main entrance and the business office had hundreds of boxes containing thousands of documents on everything going back to day one. What happened to them?
- The first racing meet saw 75,175 customers wager $1,200,086 over 27 nights for a loss of over $400,000 to G.M. Levy and his partners.
- 1973 saw 2,555,903 customers wager $280,889,037 over 148 nights.
- RR was the first to switch from heats to dashes.
- The building they just torn down cost $20 million.
- As of the end of the 1973 season, RR had in it's history: 68,816,328 customers wager $5.1 billion which sent $490 million to the state in taxes.
- The building took 1.1 million man hours, used 80 freight-car loads of cement, 4,000 tons of steel, 10,000 gallons of paint, 13 miles of plumbing pipes, 48 miles of wiring, 3 1/2 miles of glass, 1 1/2 miles of heating and air vents and 650,000 concrete blocks.
Date: Thu, Oct 12, 2000, 6:21pm
how about longshot king (crook???) Ted Taylor.
Date: Mon, Oct 30, 2000, 11:21pm
Never expected to find a website in rememberance of Roosevelt Raceway. Really great surprise!!! Like so many people I have fond memories of Rosie. During my teen years used to pick up my Sports-Eye and catch the Main Street, Flushing bus to the track. Wouldn't sit in Railroad Racings reserved seat for fear of his wrath. After not getting out on the 10th race triple, would save just enough for the fare back home.
Loved the voice of Roosevelt Raceway - Jack Lee
During snow storms would never think of watching the races from inside the grandstand.
Father and I would eat at Thomas's Eggery (Still There) on Old Country Road after the races.
Cant believe nobody mentioned the great rivalry between Governor Skipper and Big Towner. By the way Governor Skipper was never able to beat him.
Some other names that bring back memories: Mannart Race Ready, Cool Wave, Civic, Adelweiss Rainbow, Mr. Prefontaine, J.P. Ammo, Fight the Foe, Happy Cat, Tuckahoe Cree, Wizard Almahurst and Jack Lee (the horse).
Once again I appreciate this website and the chance to walk down memory lane.
Date: Sat, Dec 2, 2000, 2:57am
My God man.... I grew up at that place, once a week after school, and a regular of section 7 on friday and saturday nights. I would guess we would probably recognize each other by face if our paths crossed. There was a group of about 10 of us, and usually at least half of us made the trip to the track from Port Jeff where we grew up (we are all in the 42-44 year old range now)...Usually on friday night, on the way home from the track, most of us, if not all of us, pretty much tapped out, we would hold "Press Conferences" announcing how we were 'Retiring' from these unprofitable track outings, and, geez, return the very next night regardless!... Some things you missed....
The Balloon man ("5 For a Dollar, DONT FORGET THE KIDS AT HOME") Getting in after the 7th race for free (The last two years of existence, I had moved to Glen Cove, and stopped in 2-3 times a week after the 7th race, saving the $2admission but still blowing a hundred bucks!) The green, $5 WP COMBO tickets, prior to the newer autototes, God, how I missed the combo windows...
The Internation trots, and shouts of SVEDEN SVEDEN SVEDEN... The dead head in the challenge cup of Bellino II and Ideal De Guzuo (spelling?)
I was in attendance the very last night of racing (I forget the date), and my friends and I KNEW it was the end, even though they advertised "Racing Resumes August 4th" in the program... They had stopped replacing broken glass...They fired Jack Lee... They CLOSED section 7, the BASTARDS! We knew it was the end that night... A friend of mine actually brought a wrench and left with a seat from section 7 that night, and I actually hit the triple in the very last race that night in the very last race ever held at RR (paid $116, heck compared to Yonkers prices, I'll take that every time!)...
One of my friends from that era, Kevin Mitchell, has been working for Sports Eye for the past 10 years, although I dont keep in touch with him anymore unfortunately.
Take care Jeff, great web page, brought back mucho memories....yeah, the red head kid... Remeber the guy who looked like David Lee Roth? Maybe thats you even?....
Date: Mon, Dec 4, 2000, 6:42pm
I am ashamed to say that It was very emotional. I remember how great
Roosevelt was. I always had the same routine. It was the only track that I
would go to by myself (I lived in the city at the time) to forget about
everything. I used to always love the trotters. I remember seeing them run
a 1:58 then and how everyone talked about it. I remember always waiting for
that last click to bet and standing at the $5 combo window and asking for the
3 (4 times). I can't believe that red haired guy got a job. It just shows,
perseverance does pay off. Thanks for the memories.
Date: Tue, Dec 5, 2000, 9:44pm
I, too, liked Roosevelt. I have many fond memories of that place. I was there, along with 55,000 others, when Jamin won the first International Trot.
I have some of the old programs from these special nights. George Morton Levy must be turning over in his grave. You might want to add the names of Clint Hodgins and Paul Vineyard to your drivers' list.
Off the top of my head I remember horses like Apmat, Trader Vic, Kash Minbar, Fresh Yankee, Noble Victory, Widower's Creed, Bye Bye Bird, Shadydale Lindsay, and Porterhouse. At one point I saw every horse set the track record at Roosevelt that was listed in the program, mainly because I used to go on Saturday nights (the "Class" night). That was some place. I guess harness racing will never be the same as it was back then. Thanks for the reminder.
Date: Sat, Dec 9, 2000, 1:50pm
Subject: The Dowager Queen of Harness Tracks
Roosevelt was a huge part of growing up in the 80's for me and my inner circle of friends. I remember the coupons for Nathan's in the program which were used promptly after the last race. I remember Monday night-Tuesday afternoon-Tuesday night all Rosy tripleheaders ( yes we were hardcore back in the day). The place had a special feel to it that is indescribable but it felt like a part of home to me. I'll never forget the day the closing was announced and how I felt. On a few occasions shortly thereafter I went back at night and walked around the actual racing surface and had a champagne toast and memorial service with friends in the infield water fountain. To paraphrase from the "Titanic" theme song, the memory of Roosevelt Raceway lives in my heart and goes on and on.
E.W. Queens NY
Date: Sun, Dec 10, 2000, 6:55pm
hi glad i saw your blurp abour roosevelt had no idea it closed been away from ny for years late husband loved it thee used to take cab or bus fom dubrows to catch races thank you again
Date: Monday, December 25, 2000
i love your tribute to Rosey.
Do you have any good photos or artwork, memorabilia, etc. or a line on
someone who does? My den needs something to pay homage to the place "where it
all began, where it is today"
P.S. The redhead was Howie Oil.
Date: Thu, Dec 28, 2000, 10:59am
I just came across your memorial and started to cry. I left Long Island two years ago and moved near Pompano. When we left, the old Roosevelt was still standing up amongst a huge development area. What a shame. The best racetrack in the world. We took many winner's circle pictures with the likes of Shure Like Me, Steady Nubbin, Skip's Fashion, and our favorite Gemboa. I remember when Gemboa was three and won his races by ten to fifteen lengths....how thrilling. Our memories and thrills at RR will never go away. We would like to turn the clock back by fifteen years and do it all over again.....but of course, that dream will never come true.
Esther and Luca B.
Date: Wed, Jan 3, 2001, 10:51pm
I hope you don't mind a mail from someone that you don't know, but i had to tell you that you really made my day.
I noticed that you signed a friends guestbook, and from there i went to you're homepage. You brought back so many memories of the good old days with you're Roosevelt Raceway memorial. Back in the late 60's and early 70's Roosevelt was my home away from home. After work my friends and i would have dinner in Chinatown, and then catch the bus to Roosevelt or Yonkers. For a short time i worked for a trainer named John Nerud, at Belmont Park, and Aqueduct, but i always preferred harness racing.
I'm a 54 year old Vietnam vet in Ft. Lauderdale. I grew up on Long Island, and lived in Manhattan for many years before moving to Chicago. There i worked for a major league ball club for many years, (Executive security, and crowd management), before retiring early, and moving to Florida.
Once again i want to thank you for all the memories, and say BRAVO! You have created a most excellent home page.
Date: Fri, Jan 12, 2001, 4:28pm
Great site, but you should remove Joe Faraldo from your list of great drivers .Some of the others on your list are a stretch, but Faraldo was really awful .
Date: Sun, Jan 21, 2001, 1:05pm
I LOVED your site. I live in Hicksville, and drove past the racetrack just
after they severed the overhanging roof with dynamite. What a sight, seeing
all that rooftop in mostly one piece, laying on the seats below... so sad...
Anyway, I think you should change the colored font on the site to another,
more contrasting or bright color. The blue against the dark grey is so
distracting and hard to read. Thanks again!
P.S.: we used to have WebTV Plus, and I loved it. Unfortunately, technology
being so incredible, my teenaged sons wanted to go further with computers so
they could download music and movie promos, as well as other things, so here
we are. I still miss it though...
Date: Wed, Jan 24, 2001, 6:18pm (EST-3)
I am an avid harness racing fan and I spent a number of years grooming horses at Roosevelt Raceway. Your website brought tears to my eyes. Roosevelt was my favourite racetrack and the last time I went by it was closed and boarded up. There was long grass growing all through the barn area. It broke my heart. I worked for Norman Dauplaise and Norman Jones in the eighties and I took care of Bobbo. While I was in New York I was given a bundle of press photos. Please contact me if you are interested in any of them, For e.g.
Ron Waples and Ralph Hanover
Cold Comfort and Peter Haughton
Norman Dauplaise and Mickey Rodney
George Sholty and Sonsam
Dave Green and Bridger
Eastern Skipper and Eddie Wheeler
Albatross and Stanley Dancer
Skip By Night and Ted Wing
Keystone Pioneer and Bill Haughton
Tijuana Taxi and Jim Miller
William Cane and Good time
Mike Lachance and Hilton Hanover
Date: Fri, Feb 2, 2001, 2:03pm
I came across your Roosevelt Raceway page wgile following up a search for one of the old-time drivers.
I had some good times at the track in the '60s. My uncle, Thomas Cassidy, had a number of jobs at Roosevelt, among other NYHRA tracks, winding up as steward for most of the meets in the mid-1970s.
Date: Mon, Feb 5, 2001, 12:54pm
Hi, I workrd at RR for 1 year as an usher. My father worked there many years. It was a fun place. Right before it was torn down I was working by there and drove through a hole in the fence. I drove right up to where the stands were and walked all around. It was kinda weird. Seeing all the ticket windows and roles of blank tickets all over the place. It did bring back alot of memories I had with my father there though. I even got myself a sovnier a sign from the betting windown ! I was sad to see it torn down..........Michael Conza
Date: Mon, Feb 5, 2001, 5:37pm
What a surprise to find a website dedicated to Roosevelt Raceway. I literally grew up there. My Dad, S. Harvey Fosner was Vice-President and general counsel from around 1953 until he was forced into retirement when he was 65 yrs of age in 1975 by the then new owner, Madison Square Garden. My father came to Westbury, (we lived in Westbury and I attended Westbury High School --class of 1965) as a direct result of his admiration and friendship with George Morton Levy. My father, was brought in to help shape things up from some scandals that had surrounded racing during the days of the Moreland Commission.
It was a very interesting life for me growing up in the midst of a racetrack. I remember how much fun it was when my Dad arranged for me to ride in the "starting gate" car. I felt very special as a child, being able to eat in the VIP area upstairs, especially when no children were allowed. All we did was go to dinner frequently so my Mom and I could eat with my Dad, who would often spend long hours at night.
As I grew older, I remember some of the special events -- like the International Races, preceded by the fancy International Balls. I remember my Dad not letting me take a day off from school when Lucy and Desi Arnaz were filming an episode of I Love Lucy. When I see that episode at Roosevelt Raceway, I still think it would have been more worthwhile to have been at RR than at school!!
I remember George Morton Levy --- the country lawyer, philanthropist, the founder and pioneer of Harness Racing -- the man ---who was so absent minded when it came to hhis cigars. His dear wife, Elise, would follow him around his house with an ashtray cause George never managed to get his ashes into the ashtray and would flick them all over the place. I remember George's other sport that he loved -- golf. He would hit so many balls into his neighbors glass windows, that he would pay them regularly in advance for his damage. I remember his lovely children and beautiful wife, who was so close to my mother. They both passed away ahead of their husbands.
I remember a trip to Paris, France with George and his family, and my family. I was around 16. We were entertained by government officials quite grandly, since racing in most European countries was a sport sponsored and controlled by the government.
I remember when Fortunoffs was built.
I remember the Cloud Casino. I had my Sweet Sixteen there.
I remember many of the famous horsemen, trainers and drivers as well as the horses -- like Jamin. Billy Haughton, Del Miller very familiar names. And of course the people that worked at the Raceway like Lew Barasch, Al Weil, Andy Starr and many others.
Many of the winners would have their pictures taken after a race, and sometimes my Dad would have my mother and me actually present them the trophy.
Most of all, I remember when John F. Kennedy came to visit as a young Senator before he was running for President. He was right outside Roosevelt Raceway. I guess it wasn't a school day!!
Wendy Fosner Ceracche
Can you please tell me what happened to that great tote board on the infield? I've been to about 30 tracks all over the country and Roosevelt had the best!
Used to take the bus (for free) one season from Yonkers Raceway over to Roosevelt. One time the bus broke down in the parking lot and we were stuck in the track for almost 3 hours after the doors closed. Didn't get home (to Rockland County) until the wee hours of the morning.
All the best
Yours in Racing
Marc A. Silverstein
Date: Mon, Feb 19, 2001, 1:27pm
Subject: Harness Track Fatalities
I stumbled upon your website while browsing ustrotting.com, which I do every day.
Unfortunately, I never got to visit Roosevelt Raceway live, bit watched and bet many races from there through the evil OTB!
I was introduced to harness racing in 1971 at the beautiful Brandywine Raceway (gone) and Liberty Bell Park (gone). In the late 70's, while working in Western Kentucky, I broke the monotony with an occasional vist to Audubon Raceway (gone), and then would catch races at Louisville Downs (gone) on my way to the Cincinnati area to visit my family. Saturday nights quite often found my parents and I having diner in the clubhouse at Latonia Raceway (now Turfway Park - no harness racing).
Back in Central New York where I still live, we had Vernon Downs (hanging by a thread), but my compadres and I preferred the trek to Batavia Downs (owned by OTB - probably done racing forever) for great harness racing on Saturday nights including many of the rising Canadian stars.
Anyway...I truly enjoyed your site and some of the email. I guess you're lucky that you also emraced Thoroughbred racing so that you have Aqueduct & Belmont. Personally, if they can't pull a sulky, I won't watch or bet on them!
The Memorial to Roosevelt Raceway
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