Site hosted by Build your free website today!
Selected Emails for The Memorial to Roosevelt Raceway Page 8

Page 8 of Selected Emails

Also read what people wrote in my Roosevelt Raceway guestbook by clicking HERE

Date : Wed, 12 Feb 2003 21:53:40
Dear Jeff,
My name is Paul-John Ramos, a writer based at Yonkers Raceway for Offstride, Yonkers Tribune, and my own selections page. Having been 12 years old at the time of Roosevelt's end, your site gives me a great understanding of what it meant to so many people. So many wonderful things have been said about RR that I've come to be sad about its demolition, even though I never saw the track in person.
Do you mind if I add your link to my web page? Yonkers fans would like to read about their former neighbor, I'm sure.
Thanks for hearing me out. Great work on the site, and best of luck with it.
My page is called Harness Weekend :
The sites to which I contribute are :
Date : Sat, 15 Feb 2003 22:59:13
Hi Jeff, I followed this link out of curiosity from It sure brought back a lot of memories. My husband and his friend owned a few trotters and raced them at Roosevelt and Yonkers...we owned a horse named Dusty Jim that we raced at both places. I will have to go through some old boxes and see if I can find some pics and programs for you. Thanks for the memories.
Subject : Wow what memories you bring back
Date : Tue, 18 Feb 2003 17:52:14 EST
Since Roosevelt closed I have gained 50lbs. those idiots closed down the only adult entertainment on the Island besides eating!! To remember Roosevelt is to think of racing when it was a sport, not a business. Carmine coming out of the gate, With Benny in the pocket, and then the two of them 10 lengths in the lead, and then Carmine coming off the wood, and letting Benny come up the rail, then jumping in the sulky, hooking wheels with Benny forcing him to take back, and carmine holding back even more, not letting Benny unhook, and then down the stretch they crawl, with Carmine slowing up as much as he can not to let Benny clear, and the rest of the field pouring down the stretch, With Carmine winning by a head, and Benny finishing 2nd, and that was racing. Diplomat first B class pacer to break 2 minutes, Trying to rub the pari-mutuel ticket so the eight looked like a three, and never getting away with it.
Oh we need something to do on the island beside eat!
Date : Sun, 2 Mar 2003 19:57:15 EST
Hello Jeff!
My grandfather is F. Alden Gray, Director of Roosevelt Raceway. Pretty interesting site, I am going to have to have my dad check it out. I might be able to dig up some pictures if you care.
Alden Gray
Date : Sat, 22 Mar 2003 02:19:50 EST
Jeff I see that there is absolutely NO mention of JACK E. LEE and his situation with being fired from announcing at FREEHOLD Raceway! He had a vendetta against a trainer named KING,and would defame him in public and in writing ,referring to him as "BURGER KING" among other things !The situation became so bad and LEE was so obsessed with this trainer that he was charged with criminal acts! LEE was fired immedialtly from FREEHOLD! I just find it hard to believe that You or nobody else on this site would want to report this story,but instead only the positives about LEE! Jeff please don't take offense to this ,but if you are going to create a site and talk about the people involved then you should really think about telling both sides ,Not just the positives!
Thank You.
Jeff I would really appreciate it if you would post this in your NEW emails sections!
Thank You!
Date : Wed, 2 Apr 2003 11:38:06 EST
Hi..My name is Rich.....I used to groom horses for Sach Werner and Joe Firetti...I would like to put a note or 2 on the website letters. Is that possible..I used to own horses..Gold Spike..Silver Miles..Hill Valley Don..Jersey Sweet Corn..Racing Marvel..Bionic Byrd...Sugar Valley Abbe..remember her!!....Let me know...I also raced a horse named Girlsjuswannahavfun...Bred her too....Also Save the Seals....Advz and thx rich...
Date : Mon, 14 Apr 2003 12:06:55 -0400 Jeff,
stumbled across your tribute to RR last night; great job! Brought back fond memories as I spent 11 years racing there & met the girl of my dreams in Westbury. Sue & I have been married 14yrs now & have 2 wonderful children. We get back to Westbury often & it is hard for me to drive by on old country road & see the track gone. We live in the xxxxxx area now & if you are ever up this way give us a call. xxx xxx xxxx. John Kopas
Date : Mon, 21 Apr 2003 03:52:55 -0400 Jeff:

I'm a native New Yorker who often enjoyed Roosevelt the best of the New York Harness tracks. Ironically, after moving from New York to Philadelphia in September 1986, my very first time back in New York that October turned out to be the very last time I would be at Roosevelt for that year's Messenger.

As great as Roosevelt was, the problems were mounting in later years, and The Meadowlands became "the track." If Roosevelt had somehow been able to become a seven-eighths of a mile oval (which I think is the best for Harness Racing), it probably would have been able to continue and even perhaps make a comeback.

I actually was out of Harness Racing altogether for nearly 10 years (focusing on thoroughbred racing, where I had edges I didn't have with the trotters) before returning as a bettor four years ago, slowly regaining the edges I had when I was younger and enjoyed the sport. These days, my main focuses (as a Harness bettor) are The Meadowlands, Yonkers, Mohawk/Woodbine Harness and Northfield Park (I still do the throughbreds as well), but there always will be a place for Roosevelt Raceway, one of the greatest Harness tracks of all time.

Walt Parker Editor of Revolution Horse Racing

P.S.: I even made a brief mention of (and provided a link to) the Roosevelt Memorial on The New York Radio Message Board at: in a thread on that board for Spencer Ross, who many may remember did the shows on WWOR-TV (Channel 9) with Stan Bergstien in the mid-1980s (I met both of them in the Cloud Casino many times).

Date : Wed, 23 Apr 2003 16:36:21 EDT

Sorry, Patrick, but I never worked at Roosevelt. I was only a patron!!

Date : Fri, 25 Apr 2003 11:24:32 -0700
Thank you for your tribute to Roosevelt Raceway. As George Sholty's daughter, I spent many Friday nights in the driver's lounge watching the races and sitting with Bob Naylor. Your website has afforded many people the opportunity to reminisce about a time in their lives when things seemed a little simpler and fun could be had for a couple of dollars. Thanks again for those of you who remember Roosevelt Raceway and my dad.
-Tresa Sholty Oliveri
Date : Wed, 30 Apr 2003 21:35:06 -0400
Love your web page….here’s a driver or two you missed…..Howard Camden, David Tovim….Bob Cherrix, Zaddock Cherrix, Gerald and Robert Bostic, Robert Shuttleworth, Maurice Pusey, Forrest Gerry Jr, Arthur Koch. Hugh Bell, Jimmy Jordan, John Patterson, Frank Irvin, Peter McInny, Maria Bordiva,. Gene Sears. Eddie Cobb. Richard Thomas and Apples Thomas, Tom Thumb and Anthony Abbietello.. I have photo’s I can send you of the track just before it was torn down. The grandstand and what was left of the infield track…

Sheldon Glass

Date : Sat, 3 May 2003 01:22:30 EDT
I just read that Nickawampus Leroy's owner, Willie Lewis pased away this past March. My dad had a bet with me which was if I could pick the winner of the feature on the "Racing from Aqueduct" show my father would take me to Roosevelt. I had Bold Forbes in the Wood Memorial, and sure enough that night Nickawampus Leroy came down the center of the track under George Phalen to "win it all !" We stopped at Wetsons on the way home for a burger and a shake. Hard to come up with a better day.
Date :Mon, 23 Jun 2003 22:07:33
I thought the track hosts a flea market or something now.
You mention it was ripped that true.....if so,,,how sad.
Why didnt somebody buy it and reopen it?
David R. Feldman
Date : Sun, 6 Jul 2003 15:20:58
Great website!
I am 34 years old and I lived in the NY-Nj metro area until 1990 (I am living in SC now). I remember watching Stan Bernstien and Spencer Ross cover racing from Roosevelt and Yonkers on Channel 9 on Sat. nights from 11:30 pm to midnight (before WWF wrestling!). when I was a kid (1980-1982 off and on till 1986. I kind of lost interest in following harness as I got older even though if a track was open I would go to it like when I went to Freehold in 1989 (there is no legalized gambling here in SC).
Why did RR shut down 15 years ago? Was it not drawing busiiness? RR had such a 'fifties' nostalgia to it, too bad it shut down.
This site helped satisfied my nostalgia.
Chris Golden

PS. My brother is in the Marines and he was on recruitment duty during May of 1996 in Long Island. I told him to go visit RR. He did and he told me it was all broken down. However, he did see the big old RR sign laying there! He couldn't get inside the track otherwise he would have taken it home with him!Doyou know what happened to the big old RR sign?
I would be curious to know!

Date : Wed, 9 Jul 2003 22:57:18 EDT
What happened that the Roosevelt Race Track was torn down? I can remember it being built. As popular as racing is in NY, I can't imagine why it is gone.
Alan Cox
Date : Tue, 22 Jul 2003 16:17:26
Greetings Jeff:
I am a writer in Toronto and doing some research that touches upon Roosevelt Raceway as well as Yonkers Raceway. I came across your Memorial to Roosevelt Raceway website. Among your list of great drivers you mention Buddy Gilmore and Ken McNutt. I'm told they were Canadian. Do you know whether they live in Canada now and, if so, where one would reach them. Also, is Carmne Abbatiello still around and, if so do you know where to reach him. Any help would be appreciated.
D'Arcy Jenish
Date : Thu, 07 Aug 2003 11:16:16
Just a note to tell you a story Leroy's owner (Bill Lewis nephew, who inherited him) told me a couple of day's ago.
Leroy, who is now 36, was having some leg and tooth problems. Mike put him in a stall and called the vet and equine dentist. They came, treated him and removed a couple of teeth. He still wasn't eating so Mike decided to put him back in the pasture. Because someone was working at the exit he normally used, Mike took him out the practice track exit. When Leroy saw the track, he started shaking his head, whinnying and prancing around...he thought he was going racing! Mike was amazed. He put Leroy in the pasture, he went back to eating and has been fine ever since.
Just thought you would enjoy the story since Leroy appears on your pages.
Lou Johnson
Date : Sat, 16 Aug 2003 15:51:09
I found your website honoring Roosevelt's nice to know that somone somewhere actually gives a damn (at least to some extent) about harness racing. I have another tidbit of info. for you about Roosevelt Raceway is you would like to add it to your was the first harness track (I don't know about any other types of racetracks) to conduct racing under the lights. Thanks,
Jaclyn Bailey
Date : Mon, 18 Aug 2003 13:00:13
Hi. Another middle-aged former-harness racing buff here who stumbled upon your site and now flooded with memories of youth. I grew up on LI in 70's.
One interesting story: In NY State there are Regents exams that all high school students must take to graduate. For the English exam there was a requirement that you had to write a story about a book that you have read.
A friend of mine wrote about "Down The Stretch" by Herve Filion. No such book. He passed the test.
Date : Mon, 1 Sep 2003 10:28:14
Saw your site and thought I'd share my memories - during college i worked as a bellboy at the Island Inn - where many of the owners of horses stayed. every Friday I would touch base with Mike, the desk clerk, who was friends with the owners and every week there would be at least one owner behind in his feed bill - the race his horse was in that day would be "arranged" and Mike would take our bets over that afternoon (way before OTB was even thought of!) The "looser's races" helped me buy quite a few books and beers as an undergraduate!

Another memory was growing up in a house on Ellison Ave in Westbury and listening to the traffic pouring through after the last race on the way to the LIE - late on a hot summer night it turned sleepy Ellison Ave in Broadway....
thanks for the memories...
john taylor
The East Wind Silver Company Ltd

Date : Mon, 1 Sep 2003 22:21:06
Thanks for a great website. It brought back some fond memories of my college days at CCNY. It was back in October of 1969 when some friends introduced me to harness racing with a trip to Roosevelt Raceway. I'd never seen anything like it.
I remember the last race of the evening (the ninth race). It was an exacta race, and a horse named Efficient, with William Dawkins in the bike, won the race at 51-1. Together with place finisher Good Grattan A, they set up the largest exacta payoff ever seen in NY up to that time (over $1260 for a $2 ticket). I fell in love with the sport, and kept up with it into my grad school days at Albany, NY.
5 1/2 years later, I was fortunate enough to drive in an exhibition race at RR for college students during the summer of 1975. I had won such a race in November of 1974 at Saratoga Harness, and that got me a spot in this particular race. I drove a Del Insko trained horse named Hobby Hill to a third place finish in a race timed in 2:05 1/5. It was, and still remains, one of the great thrills of my life (I'm 51 years old now).
I always hoped that RR would be declared a national historic landmark, which would prevent its destruction. The tote board alone was reason to leave the place untouched. Unfortunately, one of the great showplaces of standardbred racing is gone forever. Like the old Pennsylvania Station before it, we'll probably wait a few years before we realize the mistake we made in tearing her down.
With fond memories of good old Jack "I'll take 'em down to the half in :59" Richardson, I send you warm wishes.
Steve Newman
Date : Fri, 5 Sep 2003 12:29:10 EDT
My name is Mindy and I work at the Holiday Inn of Rockville Centre in the Sales and Catering department. My manager, Mark, "grew up" at Roosevelt Raceway and has many fond memories that he often shares with all of us in the office. He and his father shared Groom's Quarters (if I remember the name correctly - the cafeteria).
I was wondering if you have made enough contacts through your memorial website to try to set up a reunion of former workers, vendors, etc., from the Raceway. I know Mark would be excited to gather with other people who could share in the memories. Just a thought....
Mindy Walsh
Holiday Inn of Rockville Centre
Date : Sat, 6 Sep 2003 12:49:56
Great Website-
Roosevelt was a great loss for Long Island and Harness racing as well. When I was a boy ,my grandfather would take me there often. I have found memories about the track and I do miss it dearly. One bit of trivia:
Roosevelt Raceway was featured on the Luci and Desi hour in the late 1950's- I had seen a recent episode on TV Land ! Luci won a race there!
I think that Stanly Dancer or Billy Haughton were in the episode as well! (racing)
All the best-
Joseph Leonardo
Date : Thu, 11 Sep 2003 17:00:43
I don't know if your email is still working but I stumbled upon your web site a few minutes ago and it took me back! About an hour ago I had a big disappointment in a deal I was working on and found some relief in remembering how my Dad taught me one of life's biggest and simplest lessons at Roosevelt Raceway. My Dad is still alive and living in Florida, where all the NY Italians and Jews go when they're done with LI. Anyway, my Dad was a laborer all his life. We lived in Uniondale in a small little house that I always remember as being home...never ever thought about its size or simplicity. Dad would take me and my brother (big shot banker in Chicago now) to the 'track' every once in awhile...I can still feel the cool night breezes as we sat together in the stands. He'd give me and my brother 10 bucks each to bet anyway we wanted. We'd go over all the programs like we knew what we were doing...but overtime we learned a few things from the program. Dad never told us what to do or criticized our bets...just gave us ideas and advice...the rest was up to us. Well, I'm the soft spoken one in the family, but my brother is, shall I say, aggressive and outspoken. So...we'd place our bets and most times loose, yelling all the time for Carmine...come on Carmine hit em hit em...come on Carmine..... When the race was over, my brother would be all hot an bothered and sometimes mouth off with a curse or two. Dad would get mad at him and make him apologize to anyone around us, especially if there was a woman in the seats who could hear us.
Then my Father would tell us...I've told you boys more than bet the're in it...enjoy it and when it's over "just turn the page'. Those words, "just turn the page" have stuck with me. Like I said an hour ago this deal I was working on fell apart...and all I could do was remember his words, 'just turn the page'. Then I thought about Roosevelt Raceway...and searched the internet with the words Roosevelt Raceway coming upon your web site.
Thanks for the pix and the was quite a place.
P.S. Before we went to the track back then...we'd start our night at Borrelli's on Hempstead Turnpike. It's still there and on a recent trip back to LI, my brother and I went there and ate like there was no tomorrow.
Tony Bamonte
Date : Thu, 9 Oct 2003 07:53:29 -0400
Dear Jeff,
I want to thank you for your website. It brought back precious memories. Where it all began where it is no more. Let me introduce myself, my name is JR Morales.
I started as a groom back in 77 and got to be around harness racing great names. They recently had an old timers race at the Meadowlands where names like, Abbaitello, Meritt Dokey, Del Insko, and a few other competed for old time sake. I started working for a trainer named Joe Santoro, I had a couple of good horses with him, but Melvins Strike was one of the best horses I got to rub. Oh how I dream about returning home to Roosevelt. I went on to become a trainer / driver and competed at Monticello for about 15 years. Had a few driving wins, but unfortunately my last name was a heavy burden to me in the industry. I got out of the game around 1991 and made a come back in 1996 where I am at now, which is Pompano Park, FL. I drove a few horses over the past years but not as many as I would like to, but I still know how to get to the winners circle. As a matter of fact I pick up about 3 small trainers to drive for and I am into go Friday night at Pompano Park.
Here is the real reason why I am writing you. With the new gambling law being passed. Westbury or another old quarter horse track out in Long Island has opened up talks about reconstructing a NEW ROOSEVELT RACEWAY!!!
Of course money is the machine that drives politicians. Anyway, that is what has surfaced up down here in Florida, and I just wanted to share. I sure would love to return and compete in at home, Long Island. That is where it all began for me and is still in my heart. I dont now what lead me to your site, but I know that GOD had a reason behind it. If youre ever in Florida, look me up and Ill take you around the barn area and introduce you to some pretty famous people of today. Dont for get wish me luck on Friday, remember this look for a horse named SEE Ya Red on Wednesday night, which is all I am going to say.
Thank again for the memory,
JR Morales.
Date : Sun, 26 Oct 2003 07:50:35 EST
those were great times remember those great sat races seatrain savior oil burner green speed rambling willie mr sandman and carmine in front just saw howard woody oil in monti grew up with him remember how red his face would get at the end of his call guys used to run to the windows to bet his horse he starter calling races at rosecrft after appearing on stan bergstein spencer ross sat night at the races trying to remember two horses one was driving by lew williams {not wata baron}the other was jim rankin cant remember the names maybe you can help
Date : Tue, 28 Oct 2003 12:55:19
Jeff, A while back, Gary Myer, son of driver Bill Myer, responded to your website.I have an odd request, but if it is possible, I would like to contact Mr. Myer concerning the possibility of him having a racing photo of one of his father's horses. I have long, very long been an avid harness racing fan, and I have tried very hard to collect photographs of horses which I liked over the years. The horse owned by Mr. Myer was a trotter by the name of Jess Dillon. He was by far not a famous racehorse, but he was one of whom I have the fondest of memories. He was one of my personal favorites. I have tried long and hard to get a racing photo of Jess Dillon with no luck at all. I got to thinking that Gary Myer might have a photo, since the horse was part owned by his father. If you cannot put me in touch with Gary, perhaps you can forward this letter to him.
If this request was an annoyance to you, I sincerely apologize. It certainly was not meant to be that. It's just a last ditch attempt to try to find a picture of this trotter.
Frank Mele
Date : Sat, 1 Nov 2003 17:38:51
I would like to thank you for bringing back so many wonderful memories. I owned some horses that raced at Roosevelt Raceway, the best one a New Zealand mare named Kitland who raced there in the late 70's and early 80's. I am reminded of Roosevelt Raceway every day since my living room is plastered with win photo's from Roosevelt Raceway. One could only image how sucessful Roosevelt Raceway could be today if it had lived long enough to see the acceptance of slot machines, which seems to be coming to the other NY tracks. Before getting in to the horse business as high school and college kids we used to go to the track every night. We used to park in Fortunoffs so we could save on the parking. During the summer every Tuesday and Friday we could go and watch qualifiers. When I get with my old friends now we can bs for hours on how much fun it used to be. Keep the memory of Roosevelt going with your wonderful website.
Howard Gluck

Webmaster's note: I parked at Ohrbachs!!

Date : Thu, 30 Oct 2003 09:02:10
Hi Sarge,
Below is the link to an article posted this morning. Norman Dauplaise passed away on Tuesday. It's a sad week, I'm sure, for the Roosevelt fan base :
Paul-John Ramos

Return to:

The Memorial to Roosevelt Raceway

FastCounter by LinkExchange