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…

Watch the 1904 Brooklyn Handicap

You can watch the race, including its troubled start and one of the horses—presumably the winner—getting rubbed afterwards, and then read the incredibly detailed account of the race in the next day’s New York Times. The amount of coverage the race the got, the number of column inches, boggles the mind of the contemporary reader.…

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,…

Finally, it’s here

I am shortly heading out to beautiful Belmont Park to spend a day that may well rival last summer’s Travers on the unpleasant scale. I’m not a big fan of crowds or excessive heat, and both will be in abundance in a few short hours. So as I get myself into the spirit of this…

“Brooklyn Once Had Big-Time Racing, Too.”

So reads a New York Times headline in July of 1963, as the author recalled the first running of the Brooklyn Handicap, at Gravesend Race Track in 1887. The article tells us that, “There’s little doubt that the Brooklyn Handicap captivated the interest of many. In the early 1900’s, there wasn’t a self-respecting saloon in…

Not the most fun day at the races today. Humid; rainy; small crowd. Despite a couple of good races and temperatures in the 80’s, it felt like the beginning of the winter racing season, when people go the track simply to bet, not to hang out. The treat of a steeplechase kicked off the day,…

The Brooklyn Handicap

Three races of note at Belmont Saturday. Uncommonly for Belmont, the first race is a steeplechase (or “hurdle,” as it’s called by NYRA). It’s the inaugural (I’m not sure that I’ve ever been at an inaugural race of any sort) running of the two-and-a-half mile Lonesome Glory Steeplechase Stakes. Lonesome Glory won five Eclipse Awards…