When I read about the bankruptcy and termination of racing of Rosecroft Raceway this past summer, I thought that its passing deserved a better eulogy but, more importantly, that my children and grandchildren should know more about its rich history and the contributions of my grandfather and my father to the sport of harness racing. So, I decided to organize my thoughts into a narrative for them. The more I researched and wrote, the more I thought the story might be of interest to others outside of my family, especially those in the harness racing community.
Undoubtedly, most of you will be surprised by my sudden capacity for recall and detail. So, I must confess that the story would not have been nearly as complete without the scrap book of my grandfather’s racing career that my grandmother had given me and vetting by friends from my former life in racing. These cues unlocked memories of family lore, long forgotten events and conversations, all of which added considerable texture and historical detail to the narrative.
I submitted the final draft to Hoof Beats Magazine, the monthly publication of the United States Trotting Association. The new, young editor liked it but wanted me to cut the 2,800 word article to 1,500 words. I thanked him but told him I couldn’t do that and tell the story I wanted to tell. Then, I offered it to Kathy Parker, a long-time friend from back in the day when she was a reporter for the Horseman Magazine, where she is now the editor. Kathy was very enthusiastic and said she would like to run the entire piece in January when there was less racing to report and she could give it more space. Between the magazine’s archives and my scrap book, we came up with a number of old photographs, which added considerable style and eye appeal to the presentation.
Remembering Rosecroft (Click to access)