New-York Historical Society's Bill Shannon Dictionary of New York Sports

Tag Archives: Roosevelt Raceway

Al Spitzer

Al Spitzer (Sportswriter.  Born, New York, NY, Feb. 10, 1910.)  Beginning as a part-time “space” writer under the paper’s scholastic sports editor, Alfred Spitzer ultimately spent more than 40 years with the Long Island Press.  Spitzer was hired by Ed Binneweg and succeeded him in 1940, when Binneweg began covering harness racing at the then-new Roosevelt […]

Del Insko

Del Insko (Harness racing.  Born, Amboy, MN, July 10, 1931.)  Del Insko was the dominant harness driver in the New York area in the 1960s and early 1970s, when Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceways were the dominant tracks in the sport.  Delmer M. Insko shifted to the New York circuit in 1962.  For a dozen years […]

George Morton Levy

George Morton Levy (Executive. Born, Seaford, NY, June 26, 1889; died, Mineola, NY, July 10, 1977.) Although he began a career as a successful criminal lawyer, George Morton Levy became internationally-renowned as the father of the modern harness racing industry. In the summer of 1940, Levy opened Roosevelt Raceway, where harness racing was conducted under […]

Gerry Mastellone

Gerry Mastellone (Harness racing. Born, New York, NY, Dec. 5, 1927; died, Yonkers, NY, Feb. 26, 1993.) Considered the best standard-bred handicapper of his time, Gerald Mastellone made selections for the World-Telegram for over a decade. In 1966, with his paper shut down by a prolonged strike after its merger into the World Journal Tribune […]

Mike LaChance

Mike LaChance (Harness racing. Born, St. Augustin, P.Q., Dec. 12, 1950.) Coming from a small cattle farm in Quebec, Michel Lachance became a leading driver at Yonkers, Roosevelt, and the Meadowlands racetracks. Lachance arrived in New York in 1982 and soon supplanted Carmine Abbatiello as the king of the New York half-mile tracks. He erased Abbatiello’s […]

Joey Goldstein

Joey Goldstein (Public relations.  Born, Conway, SC, July 20, 1927; died, Boca Raton, FL, Feb. 14, 2009.)  Cast in the mold of the great Broadway press agents of the 1930s and ’40s, Joey Goldstein carved a unique position for himself in the world of sports as the most dynamic, exciting and, sometimes, controversial public relations […]

Lucien Fontaine

Lucien Fontaine (Harness racing.  Born, Pointe aux Trembles, P.Q., Apr. 12, 1939.)  In 1959, Lucien Paul Fontaine made what could hardly be called an auspicious start in harness driving.  He drove twice and failed to finsh in the money either time. But in the  intervening years, his next 6,613 drives produced 3,458 wins and 1,634 […]

John Chapman

John Chapman (Harness racing.  Born, Toronto, Ont., Nov. 25, 1928; died, Westbury, LI, May 2, 1980.)  In a career that began in 1947, John Chapman became one of the most popular of the catch drivers during the “golden age” of trotting at Yonkers and Roosevelt Raceways.  Chapman drove 3,915 winners and his horses earned $21,359,746.  […]

Philip J. Burke

Philip J. Burke (Public relations.  Born, Yonkers, NY, Jan. 11, 1935; died, Millville, DE, Aug. 23, 2000.)  A Fordham graduate who became Columbia’s sports information director, Philip John Burke was sports editor of the Sunday Sun of Teaneck, N.J., from 1958-60.  Burke was with Columbia for over four years (1960-64) before joining the public relations staff […]

Carmine Abbatiello

Carmine Abbatiello (Harness racing.  Born, Staten Island, NY, May 23, 1936.)  Harness racing’s second winningest all-time driver, Carmine Abbatiello won his 7,000th race on October 23, 1990, at Yonkers Raceway with a horse appropriately named “Right on Course.”  Abbatiello, a graduate of Staten Island’s Port Richmond High, went directly from high school into harness racing […]

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The Bill Shannon Biographical Dictionary of New York Sports is an open database of sports biographies maintained by Jordan Sprechman and Marty Appel. We welcome public and scholarly contributions and suggestions.

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A prolific author, wire service sports reporter, long time Major League Baseball official scorer, football statistician, sports museum founder, theatrical agency owner and public ... read more

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