View Full Version : Home track

12-08-2004, 02:04 AM
What was your original home track where you saw the majority of your races?

Have you relocated and is there a new home track today?

Mine were in Michigan.

Wolverine-DRC was my favorite.
I've never cared for Hazel Park, although I've spent many a night there.
Northville runs a close second for me to Wolverine.
Used to enjoy Jackson Raceway as well.
Windsor Raceway just across the river was considered part of the Detroit area as far as racing is concerned and I've spent my share of nights there as well.

Today, I rarely attend the races and in most instances am not really interested in what goes on.
The faces have changed the crowds have changed the tracks have changed.

12-08-2004, 07:56 AM
Brandywine Raceway in Wilmington, DE and Liberty Bell Park in Northeast Philadelphia were my tracks. Both are now long gone and changed into shopping centers. Brandywine was a real fun place to go and had a lot of nice people working there. Now I follow harness on the internet as Pocono Downs and Dover Downs are the close tracks and they are quite a haul to get to. Wilderness were you ever at the old Greenwood track? I think they hosted the first North American Cup before everything moved to Woodbine.

12-08-2004, 08:08 AM
I began playing the Toronto simulcast in early 1990 at Sarnia and later Windsor.
In early March of that year I was doing quite well and spent 3-4 days at Greenwood.
In the fall of 1990, a friend and I spent a couple of days in Toronto, while there we took in the T-breds at Greenwood, Mohawk (the only time I've been there) and Flamboro.

I recall the buses at Greenwood coming right up to the door :-)
They had a nice lounge area on the second floor or approx.
The clubhouse still had a required jacket when I was there in 1990. The food looked nice, however I've had better. Enjoyed the racing there, however that trip downtown could be a nightmare.

I have a decent article online about the Grand Circuit returning to Greenwood in 1969 after a near 30 year absence.

12-08-2004, 09:22 AM
The original home track for me was Ocean Downs which is about a 3 hour drive from where I live. It was fun to go there in the spring and summer. Very relaxed atmosphere and the beach was nice.

My home track is now Colonial Downs which is a very nice track although the harness racing is a bit too chalky for my tastes and handles are quite small. Hopefully, over time, harness racing will grow there.


12-08-2004, 09:48 AM
Hey Jim,
I just recently scanned an short and sweet article from Ocean Downs inaugural week in July of 1949.

I recall having some aerial views of the track and surroundings from that time as well.
I'm sure the surroundings are quite different today :-)

Colonial opened with a bang and then cut back. They were hoping for more in Virgina (which has a rich Standardbred history) and it didn't materilize.

These times are very tough on most everything horse related. It's just too complicated and too slow for most younger that were raised with cable tv and atari video games (plus what every games they are up to today at $50-60 a shot.)

12-08-2004, 10:46 AM
FreeState/Rosecroft for me, though FreeState was much nicer on a summer night!

12-08-2004, 11:03 AM
In 1949 Rosecroft opened.
Have a very nice press release article which reflects the many extensive publications in surrounding area newspapers and reflects the introduction of DC socialites into the stream of harness racing.

Rosecroft was built by and on the farm property of W. E. Miller.
His out-cross stallion, Symbol Gantle was his pride and joy. Mr. Miller did his own driving across the east and even travelled other Grand Circuit meets with his horses.

Freestate, I've yet to get to. I do recall Freestate being opened under a vairety of names before Freestate?

12-08-2004, 11:40 AM
I don't know about a variety of names for FreeState, but I know you'll never get there if you haven't been yet! ;)

It closed at least a decade ago and was knocked down shortly thereafter.

12-08-2004, 12:03 PM
Were you there for Ring Of Light's 52 and a piece or Mal Burroughs 25-length win with Fickle Yankee in 1:57.4 which was then a world record for aged trotting mares?
Or On The Road Again's track record in the Breeders Crown?

There's more than one way to see things :-)

This ecerpt a portion of an old email from a friend reagrding a list of track abbeviations in a printed program of 1974:

Foxboro and Bay State were the same place. Freestate may have been under Laurel.

12-08-2004, 09:26 PM
roosevelt for me, loved going there, and M1. freehold was nice before it burned down and they winterized it.

12-08-2004, 09:47 PM
I was only at Roosevelt twice. Once on Labor Day weekend of 1973 and the people were wall-to-wall on a Saturday night. The other time in 1986 and RR was deserted.
There are half a dozen websites as tributes to RR although none provide (IMO) any real depth in comparison to the period that Roosevelt dominated racing and how much was published about RR.
There are some really nice(and large) photo's of Roosevelt in the American Memory section of the Library of Congress online.
RR was at one time part of an airport in which Lindenburg began his flight from. There was also a big Polo field at one time adjoing RR.
Some real history there as related to racing, its growth and the people in the sport.

I've been to The Meadowlands a handful of times. Last time was in 1987. Hard to believe they've been open 28 years?

Freehold, I believe burned twice :-(

12-08-2004, 09:49 PM
Roosevelt & Aqueduct for me.


12-08-2004, 10:24 PM
thought some might be interested

"Today, Dom made me aware that he has a dvd compilation of RR races
from 82-83 available on Ebay.

An ebay search for Roosevelt Raceway WOR-TV will take you to the item
and description, if interested."

12-09-2004, 01:17 AM
Dom is a great guy and has put a lot of hours and plenty of effort into digitizing those video's and some more besides.

12-09-2004, 09:16 AM
yeah on the yahoo harnesslist we benefit from seeing his digitilizations often. i haven't met him but i know he's a fellow staten islander.

12-09-2004, 06:52 PM
Home harness track, Batavia Downs, which, btw, has applied for dates in August of 2005 after closing this year.

12-13-2004, 03:04 PM
exactorman, my dad lived for a time on staten island. i was born in richmond, ca. does that count? okay, this post is already on boroughed time. i'll go now.

12-13-2004, 03:21 PM
[b]boroughed time[b/]

Bet ya didn't know there used to be a track in the Bronx?


When Louise A. Risse designed the Grand Concourse in the 1890s, he planned an underpass at 165th Street to accommodate the anticipated traffic at the racetrack. However, the increasing urbanization of The Bronx caused Fleetwood to close in 1899. The underpass was never built, but 165th Street was widened to receive it. That wide roadway, plus the street called Bonner Place near the racetrack site, and the old Fleetwood movie house on Morris Avenue and 165th Street, now a supermarket, is all that remains to remind us of the only trotting track to operate in The Bronx.

12-17-2004, 09:02 PM
I remember going to Bay state raceway later foxboro and they having large crowds even during the week. Sat, nite the place was packed. Also remember going to suffolk downs for the trots and rockingham when both were half miles. Also here in R. I. Lincoln Downs when they ran tbreds had One meet for the trotters. Lots of good memories from back then, The Good Old Days!