Selected Emails pg3
Also read what people
wrote in my Roosevelt Raceway guestbook
Date: Sun, Jun 25, 2000, 7:41pm
IT IS GREAT
SEEING A MEMORIAL TO WHAT I THINK WAS THE BEST
HARNESS TRACK IN THE U.S.A..
I CAN REMEMBER
GOING TO ROOSEVELT IN THE EARLY SEVENTIES AND
EIGHTIES AND WATCHING ALL THE GREATS DRIVE.
I REMEMBER THE FIRST TIME I WENT TO ROOSEVELT
IN OCTOBER, 1972 AND SEEING HERVE WIN THE FIRST
RACE FROM THE EIGHT HOLE.
I REMEMBER GOING
TO MOBY DICK WITH MY FOLKS ( IT WAS A THURSDAY
I REMEMBER BEING OUTSIDE ON
A RAINY NIGHT SEEING GEORGE PHELAN WIN ON SOME
CLAIMING TROTTER AND ALSO GOING TO SOME MATINEE
IN I THINK WAS THE SUMMER OF 1973 OR 1974. I
REMEMBER FRANK TAGIARELLO WINNING THE NINTH
RACE WIRE TO WIRE ON A PACER NAMED 'POP TIME'.
I REMEMBER HITTING A PICK-4 IN 1978
WATCHING AT HOME ON CHANNEL 9 AT 11 P.M.... I
ALSO REMEMBER HOWARD OIL CALLING RACES ON THE
FIRST FLOOR NEAR THE BAR MONITOR. DO YOU
REMEMBER THE GUY WITH LONG BLONDE HAIR WHO
THOUGHT HE WAS A MOVIE STAR.
THERE WERE a
lot OF WONDERFUL MEMORIES AND THERE WILL NEVER
BE ANOTHER ROOSEVELT RACEWAY. I AM SADDENED TO
HEAR THEY TORE IT DOWN (I DID NOT KNOW UNTIL
READING YOUR MEMORIAL). TAKE CARE
Date: Fri, Jun 30, 2000, 4:47pm
Remember: The Twin Double, Domingo Gene Abbe w/
Satch Werner in the
bike, John Frogge Jr., Une de Mai, The Orange
Card, Hebrew National franks(but only after you
cashed a ticket) and the smell of a fresh Doc
Robbins program on the clubhouse escalator?
Date: Sun, Jul 9, 2000, 12:29pm
Great tribute to a wonderful place. I first
started going to Roosevelt during 1976 when I
got my drivers license. Mostly every Friday or
Saturday I'd be pounding out those $2 win
tickets. Naturally I never told my parents
where I was going. Over the next 10 years going
to Roosevelt became somewhat of a weekend
ritual. Going to the track and then to Sprats
or Fridays afterwards. Such good times. My best
memory came on 10/17/86 (while the Mets were
playing Boston in the World Series). It was a
Friday nite, and I bet $54 into the "pickfour".
As luck would have it I had three live tickets
going into the last leg. The first three
winners were as follows (as I look at the
program which I kept).
Anyway the last leg became an "All" race due to
a late scratch. Each ticket paid $6,300, so I
cashed for over $18,000. It was amazing (of
course I've given it all back since).
Precious Cash (Siegelman)
- King Towner (G. Mosher)
- Dunnville Scamp(Patterson) $
It's funny. Looking over the program and seeing
the names of the horses/drivers, it makes you
kind of sad. Truly what happened to RR was a
crime, and the irony that Yonkers is still open
is almost comical.
Anyway, I enjoyed looking at your site and
reading all the letters. Such memories.
Date: Tue, Aug 1, 2000, 1:52pm
Dear Sgtjeff....I cannot express my sincere
thanks enough to you for creating this site to
the gone but never forgotten Roosevelt
From the first time my father
brought myself and younger brother to helmet
night when I was about 9 yrs old,remembering
going up the escalator and seeing these guys
for the first time being pulled around in the
sulkies I was hooked.
My dad knew Del Insko
through his job working for the airlines.We
would spend weekends out at his barn having him
give us rides in his lap around the training
track and if we were really lucky the main
track.All we did was eat,sleep,and dream about
being harness drivers.
I was fortunate
enough after high school to start working there
as an extra hand around Don Sider/Buddy
Gilmour"s barn.What a thrill it was to be
working on horses such as Miller"s Scout,League
Leader,Composite and Mirror Image.I also spent
a year in Monticello in 1984 with Andy Toscano
where I became friends with Gary Mosher who
moved his tack to Roosevelt the following
year.I worked for him right up to the end
grooming Governor K.C.,Sock"s Kash(who at one
stretch won 6 in a row without anyone getting
within 2 lenghts of him),Escape E.and many
more.In fact we were the last one"s to leave
the barn area in Feb.of 89.
Now to see a
huge empty space where I have so many great
memories is something I will never get
over.Keep up the good work...
must live forever.....John Treacy
Subject: DONT FORGET THE HORSES
MYAAKA PRINCE[ BUD GILMOUR]
SPRINGFIELD [ JOHN CHAPMAN]
SIR DALRAE[JIM DENNIS]
OTARO HANOVER[ HERVE FILION]
SANDRA LIL[ JIMMY CRUISE]
THE BLACK DOUGLASS[MORRIS MCDONALD] TROTTER WABASH CANNONBALL[HARRY HARVEY]
SAFRON LOBELL[ RUSSELL RASH]
GOLD OAKS[ BUDDY GILMOUR]
IN A JAM[ DELL INSKO]
HALS SON N[ HERVE FILION]
INTREPID N[HENRI FILION] CAROLINA COTTON[ MICHAEL SANTA MARIA]
AND THERES MORE.. GREAT SITE KEEP IN TOUCH
Date: Thu, Aug 17, 2000, 11:24am
Hello again Sgtjeff......Who remembers some of these horses....Attawomba,Branch Dan Prince.High Frontier,The Saddler G.B..J.M.Jupiter.Seatrain.Tarport Hap.Romeo Allegro.Cigar Store Injun.Barney B.Butler,Niknar.Tubelo Zero.Retzy Horton.Keystone Ore,Cardinal Kash,Motor Mouth,Kash Minbar,Rockin Abbe,Mountain Haze,Armbro Unger.How about the guy who always sold ballons by the escalator at the end of the program.....4 for a dollar!!!!!!Talk again soon....Thanks for the time.
Date: Wed, Aug 23, 2000, 5:10pm
Subject: Great site jeff!
not many people would feel the way you do but Thats where I lived most of my young adult life and I and many of my friends still talk about RR and feel we lost a big part of our culture in East Meadow when the tract closed. But in your list of drivers and you have plenty of the very best you missed one homeboy that was in my graduating class that I hung out with played sports with and never knew his lifelong ambition was to drive harness horses. When he finally did and I found out I found my year book and went to his photo and under career was Harness driver and he never said anything ever about it ... now the rest of the story. Kenny Kliemann. He was a tall kid over 6 foot and when he sat in the sulky his legs were so long that his knees were high. He was not a good driver and his horses were better with Carmine or Chapman with whom he learned the business. His best horse was Columbia George. He liked Trotters instead of Pacers. Your site gave me the chills and brought back good memories. I won lots of money there and lost some but you always remember the big wins. You also said something about the Roosevelt International, I caught the whip from an International Winner. I just drew a blank on his name, first name Richard last name Jewish I think. I hit the race and won a good amount of money ran to the winners circle and yelled Richie the whip and he through it to me. Wow, still have it the tip was broken.
You got me carrying on. That's what some people don't understand about the way we all feel. Good luck great site.
Date: Sat, Aug 26, 2000, 9:55am
Jeff..my name is Carmine Arpaia..and i well remeber the "other" Carmine..aka "the red man"..always the best when he was on the lead.
my brother steve Arpaia's ex girl friend used yo work in the paceway office for "tracker Ha;l" a guy who prodused a daily tout sheet
anyway..steve managed to end up with literally hundreds of original black and white phots of memeorable moments at the track
among them that i recall he has
a triple dead heat photo finish
Su Mac Lad winning the international trot Ricci Reenie Time beating Ambro Nesbit for the 2 yr old pacing championship Albatrosss....nuff said right there!!
Steve has signed on to this site so perhaps you can contavt him to see if he can provide some stuff for the site
Date: Mon, Sep 4, 2000, 8:49pm
I only visited RR a few times In the late 70's & early 80's (I lived In Washington, D.C.)
1/2 mile tracks are the best. Spectators get to see more of the action, and driving skills are put to the test. Too bad the trend Is 7/8 and mile tracks now.
I did see Niatross win the Cane (we followed him up and down the East coast).
Just like George Possas said (I hope you see this George) Best Of Jenkins will always be my favorite. My favorite driver (Wayne Smullin) had some masterful drives with Best Of Jenkins (at Maryland's Freestate Raceway).
Liberty Bell... gone.
I'm lucky to live in Columbus, Ohio. We have Scioto Downs, and In a few weeks the Little Brown Jug in Delaware, OH.
Date: Sat, Sep 9, 2000, 12:27am
Your memorial to Roosevelt Raceway is great! It brings back fond memories. I remember the first time I went to Roposevely in 1968, for the International Trot, which was won by Roquepine of France, with JeanRene Geugone driving. There was such a large crowd, it seemed like all of Long Island was there.
I also remember years befor that, my parents often took my brother and I to Lake Ronkonkoma, and on the way home to Queens (I now live in Connecticut) on the L.I. Expressway, we saw bus after bus after bus makred "Raceway" or "Trotters" traveling eastbound.
I remember in the early 70's going to Roosevelt nearly every Saturday night with frinds from work. (I worked at Hills Supermarket, which is another part of Long Island which is now gone.)
While I love Harness Racing, and miss Roosevelt Raceway, I do understand the economics of the situation. The land upon which Roosevelt Raceway once sat is perhaps some of the most valuable commercial real esate in Nassau County, and the owners wanted to put it to profitable use. Operating a harness track which drew 5,000 people per night at the end was not a profitable way to use the land. However, as I recall, the owners received some kind of tax abatement in return for operating the track for a certain amount of time, and I don't think they (the owners) met this requirement. Nassau County should have at least made them keeep to their end of the deal.
I believe that Roosevelt Raceway's demise was caused by its failure to change with the times. When OTB started in the early 70's, the hores racing industry (both thoroughbred and harness) looked at OTB as an advisary. OTB and the telivised races brought harness racing to people wer unable or unwilling to travel to the track. It could have been a great partnership, and Roosevelt Raceway may have been what the Meadowlands is today.
Again, thanks for your efforts, your site was really enjoyable!!
Date: Wed, Sep 13, 2000, 4:16am
Excellent statement of some times gone by. I'm not that old but my dad used to take me to Roosevelt when I was around 10 years old. I remember when they first got the "tartan track" that became the fastest surface around when it rained. I also remember one of my favorite horses named Air New Zealand. Sandra Lil was also one of the best and I can still see John Chapman driving Delmonica Hanover. The state of the art tote board with the range of possible payoffs for win place and show still amazes me.
I just stumbled across your website, and I wanted to put my two cents in...I can remember many a day, during my younger years, going to Jones Beach and spending the day there. Then, taking a shower at field 5, if I remember correctly, and then, all sunburned and baked, finishing off the evening at Roosevelt Raceway..WHAT memories!!!!
I was there for Cam Fella's record breaking consecutive win streak (I have a ticket and the program framed and packed away in storage). I can remember the International Trot, with Un De Mai racing parked out the entire Mile and a quarter, and STILL coming on at the end. I remember Jack Lee's calls..he WAS one of THE best. I'm divorce and living in Phoenix now, but I get back to New York at least once a year. The end of October, I'm taking a week back east, and I'm going to spend a few days in Monticello (another of my FAVORITE places!). next year, I'll hit Saratoga harness!!!).
I'd LOVE to ask you a question...This has bothered me for YEARS!!!...Why in the WORLD did all harness tracks switch over to that ridiculous conditioned racing?? I LOVED the simple FFA-D letter classification racing that the NY harness tracks had for years...The conditioned system was what killed harness racing, in my opinion...it made jokes out of races.There have been more $3.00 payoffs since they all went to that system..it's difficult to understand, and it creates a race where a million dollar winner can enter a NW of $3000L4, and make a para-mutual joke...When I go back to Albuquerque to visit my kids, they have racing from Northfield on their simulcast schedule, and some of those conditions are unbearable to try and understand...Maybe you can tell me why this happened???
I also remember HATING when they moved to Yonkers..I disliked that place intensely...paying the tolls over the bridge REALLY made me angry, so I never went...I lived in Whitestone, Queens, so RR was less than a half hour from me...I LOVED going there...
Thanks again for the website...It brought back a FLOOD of memories!!!
Artie Lino Jr.
Date: Sat, Sep 30, 2000, 12:17am
I was checking Classmates.com and found your web page listed. My dad worked at RR from the beginning until he died in 1970. He was head of vehicle maintenance. I can remember going to work with him at night while he drove the tow truck which was a courtesy to the fans in those days. I remember guys wanting to sign over their "pink slips" to get some cash for the "sure thing" next race.
I played the horses in Newsday and usually broke even. My Dad only bet on Friday the 13th since that was the day I was born.
I moved from Huntington in 1969 and last saw the grandstand in 1986 when we buried my mom. I had heard it was a flea market on weekends and couldn't believe some place so "grand" would ever end.
Thanks for bringing back memories of a better time.
Barbara Savage daughter of Stanley Savage.
Date: Tue, Oct 3, 2000, 3:29pm
Great site! I never got to go to RR when it was open but I did work at the old flea market there. Many times I got to explore the grandstand and the grounds. As a harness fan I could not help but get a great sense of RR's history and it's importance to the sport.
One of my journeys led my to the photographer's room and the main offices. I grabbed a few things. Some pictures I found were:
A gotta go for now but when I get a chance, I will give you some stories people told me on the closing of RR.
An undated picture marked "RR before construction of the modern building". It is a picrure of what appears to be part of the old building.
An undated picture with original writing on the back that says,"Yankee B. Mack-Whitey Ford". Whitey Ford appears to be driving but the location is unknown.
Three undated pictures of a accident near the finish line. One man is standing near the fallen horse with a large block "M" on his right sleeve.
- A two-page press release outlining RR being featured on the "LucilleBall-Desi Arnaz Hour Long Spectacular".
- A 1974, seven page history of RR.
- A two page press release on the history of the Phillips starting gate.
- A RR postcard.
- A program from "Carmine Abbatiello Night" on Thursday, October 7, 1982.
- A four page pull-out from "A Night of Champions" on Friday, July 19, 1985 when Ric Flair wrestled at RR.
- Four different Cloud Casino menus. One special made for the "International" on Saturday, August 23, 1975.
the MEMORIAL TO ROOSEVELT RACEWAY
selected emails pg 1
selected emails pg 2