The Preakness and the Lost New York Years

The Preakness is Maryland’s race: it’s “Maryland, My Maryland” and black-eyed Susans and blue crabs. It’s so important to the state that when financial difficulties threatened racing in Maryland,the governor stepped in to make sure that the Preakness would stay in Baltimore. But 124 years ago, when financial woes imperiled the racing industry in Maryland, nothing…

The “somewhat historic” Brooklyn Handicap, 1913

When racing returned to New York State after nearly three years, shuttered due to stringent anti-gambling restrictions, the Brooklyn Handicap, first run in 1887, came with it.  With survival, though, came transplantation, as the race was moved out of its eponymous borough, from the Gravesend track to Belmont Park. And with transplantation came a whiff…

The Short-Lived Brooklyn in Brooklyn

This weekend, 12 horses will take to the legendary Belmont oval to run in an historic stakes race, a race that dates back to the 19th century, a race in which horses will run, for one of the few times in their careers, if not the only time, a mile and a half. On Friday,…

Gravesend

The Gravesend Bay racetrack, under the supervision of Phil and Mike Dwyer’s Brooklyn Jockey Club, operated in Brooklyn from 1885 – 1910, its race dates alternating with those of the Sheepshead Bay track. The rise of anti-gambling legislation in New York led to its closure, and even though gambling became legal again in 1913, Gravesend…