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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  • Jamesforsyth

    Click on the link in the comment by Lisanne! in the article just before this one. It shows a few horse places on the map.

  • Bugg

    To this day there is still a small but significant African-American community which is (or was) largely the descendants of the track workers from way back. It's mostly around East 15th Street between Ave. X and Neck Road.

  • Georgia

    Your right and they are still around some families could have been someone grandpa or great grandpa my day used to tell me all about the track. You never know

  • Anonymous

    its look like not a real picture beacause of its background,
    or its just really an old old one picture so it looks like that.

    do you have any colored pictures now!?

  • Anonymous

    wow even people before surely love horse racing but its different in there times cause people who watch horse racing wears suits. :) anyways this is a great historical pic ! :)

  • Anonymous

    is this where they held the Box a Kangaroo events too?

  • Anonymous

    people who watch horse racing in the history wear formal dress…
    unlike now it looks weird for others who dont understand the fashion of the horse lovers as the new generations…

  • horseracingtips00

    it’s really obviously a longtime a go picture :)
    but still thanks for sharing this one…