Remembering Racing Historian Allan Carter

Paula Curtis-Carter (center front, blue & white shirt) with family and friends at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Photo: Erica Miller/Daily Gazette. Used with permission.

Paula Curtis-Carter stood in front of the dozens of people assembled at the Principessa Elena Society in Saratoga Springs on Thursday. She held aloft a cup containing a couple of fingers of Guinness, preparing to lead a toast to her husband Allan Carter, who died in April.

Before spending 15 years as the historian at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame, before spending 30 years as a law librarian at the New York State Library in Albany, Carter had joined the U.S. Army, learning Russian in a nine-month intensive language program before being posted to Japan.

“Nostrovia!” cried Curtis-Carter, anglicizing a Russian term commonly interpreted as “cheers” before offering a similar toast in Japanese. “Kanpai!”

A man from Glens Falls, toasted in Russian and Japanese, with an Irish beer. And that just begins to tell the multifarious story of a man whose name became locally synonymous with racing history.

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