Southern Brooklyn

Horse Racing In Sheepshead Bay: Track Roundup

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Brooklyn Jockey Club at Gravesend Racetrack (1893)
Brooklyn Jockey Club at Gravesend Racetrack (1893)

I get a lot of e-mails and phone calls asking about Sheepshead Bay’s horse racing history. People want to know what tracks were around, where the tracks were, how long ago they existed, and – of course – photos, photos, photos!

Sheepshead Bites has had a couple of historical nuggets on the tracks – which featured both horse and automobile racing – but I usually send people off to a slew of Googled links I keep on hand.

Well, over at Stevapalooza!, the blog of cartoonist Steve Bialik, a great list of all the neighborhood tracks and a summary of their history is assembled. The information includes track locations and dates of operations – as well as photos and illustrations of each one.

The best part? He’s got a bunch of tracks that I didn’t even know existed. Like the tiny Deerfoot Trotting Track, which saw a slew of murders including that of its owner (after a friendly wrestling match went too far); the poorly-named Prospect Park Fair Grounds on Avenue T and Ocean Parkway; and the Parkway Driving Club.

In the future, when people ask me about the racetracks, this is where I’ll be sending them. Kudos to Bialik for putting this great piece together!

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