FAQ & About Us

The Roosevelt Raceway Memorial is a tribute to 48 years of great history and memories of one the premier racetracks geared to the sport of kings, specifically Harness Racing. We have existed in some form since the later 1990s but have been presenting a website full time since 2002.

In 2004, We were approached by many racing fans that wanted the site to expand and succeed. With their help, we went from a 2 page website to one which is hundreds of pages with tons of information, photographs and memories.

We thank each and everyone that has donated materials and visited the website. If you would like to help us in any way, please see the contact us page.

Thanks as always, Christopher James Founder & Webmaster

When Did Roosevelt Raceway First Open?

Roosevelt Raceway first opened in 1937 as a auto track. There was a well known race during that era called the Vanderbilt Cup that ran there. However shortly after that meet, the track was abandoned until 1940 when George Morton Levy and his associates decided to give harness racing a try at the Westbury track.

What happened at Roosevelt between 1940-1956?

Harness racing started slow and poorly in Sept of 1940. Almost immediately Levy and Associates began to bleed money. It didn't help that by 1941, the brink of war plus lack of entries almost made the track insolvent.

From 1943-1945, They realized a small profit but the boom would begin in 1946. In 1946, fresh from the end of the war and the introduction of the Mobile starting gate by Steven Philips, drove people by the thousands to the track. The rest is history

How did Roosevelt Respond to the thousands of new fans?

The first Grandstand/Clubhouse was a wooden structure left over from the Auto racing days of 1937. Sure it was improved for horse racing but by the mid 1950's, the structure was being overused and was clear that a new more modern plant was needed. So when the Racing Season ended in 1956, Roosevelt had about a year to transform its property and they did. They went from a wooden cramped structure to a 5 level Concrete, Glass and Steel grandstand and clubhouse similar to arenas and ballparks

Who Founded Roosevelt Raceway?

Roosevelt Raceway Success and vision was founded and owned by George Morton Levy and Associates including J Alfred Valentine as well as many other dedicated people. Levy in his own right a prominent attorney started a new career as racetrack owner in 1940 and would control it for decades to come. Thanks to George Morton Levy for having the vision of introducing harness racing to mainstream.

Why did Roosevelt Raceway Close?

The main reason is broken promises by the last owners of Raceway. When the property was for sale in 1984, a group of investors bought the track with local gov bonds with a stipulation that live racing would continue forever at Roosevelt. However, not only that promise was broken but the facilities were not maintained. With total surprise, on July 15th 1988, it was announced that the raceway would not reopen in August.

So if Roosevelt Closed in 1988, why did the Grandstand and Structures remain for so long?

Immediately after announcement of closure, there was a host of legal challenges from private and local/state and federal gov that lasted for years. The Flea Market that was hosted at Roosevelt continued and even expanded with use of the Grandstand in the 1990's. so that provided some income for the investors. It was a total mess.

Now while the Grandstand, the Valet Parking lot and area where the main track was located did not get redeveloped until 2000. The vast parking lots and much of the stables area was removed by 1997-1999.

Where was Roosevelt Raceway Located?

Roosevelt Raceway was located in an area known today as East Garden City but at the time in Westbury NY. The Westbury NY portion would be the vast parking lots and the earlier racetrack location. East Garden City would be the main track, grandstand and stables.

When did the Roosevelt Raceway Memorial started?

Official Timeline puts it around late 1990's on various websites but we went full time as a 2 page tribute site in 2001 and full service website by 2004.

Who is the Founder of the Roosevelt Raceway Memorial?

The website was created and founded by Christopher James of New York. Christopher does many things with one being a webmaster building and maintaining multiple websites. What started as a hobby back in 2004 has now become a joy to run a website that is 18 years full time in the making. Christopher is a fan of both Thoroughbreds and harness racing.

I have photographs that i have scanned and want to send them to you?

We would be more than happy to accept your help in receiving photographs by email. The photos must be scanned. Pictures from a phone is less quality as the resolution is different vs scanned. Please use the contact form or one of our email addresses. Thanks for your help.

I have some programs, memorabilia and items from Roosevelt/Harness racing and would like to donate them to you?

First, I want to thank you for your generosity. This website is NOT a nonprofit but created by fellow racing fans. I need to make that very clear since we are considered for-profit even though currently dont receive income. However, it does cost money per month to operate and maintain the website. We have to buy equipment as well when its needed whether its a computer/scanner etc.

With that said, if you wish to send us materials. It would be most appreciated so we can preserve them and show them to the thousands of fans that go to this site per month.

All Submissions will become the property of the Roosevelt Raceway Memorial Website.

Please send anything you wish to send with tracking to

Roosevelt Raceway Memorial

Po Box 1761

Mineola NY 11501

I want to have my business advertisement on the website?

The website is currently willing to accept advertisements and sponsor's on this website. Rates will subject based on location of website and the amount of ads and time agreed. please contact Steve or Chris for more information and thank you in advanced for your interest