Feb 21 2012

Aerial Views of Roosevelt Raceway After 1937

After the 1937 Vanderbilt Cup Race, no major road race was ever held again at Roosevelt Raceway. But, as documented by these aerials, the track was soon used for midget racing and then harness horse racing.

This 1939 view looking south-east shows Roosevelt Raceway in Westbury. The Northern State Parkway extension was under construction north of the track. In the closeup of the aerial above, the oval track for midget races can be seen in front of the grandstands.

Joel Finn described the track for midget racing: "The track was a half-mile long, utilizing the wide grandstand straightaway to create an odd oval, as the traffic went in both directions separated by a fence down the center. The 180-degree turns at each end were very sharp and consequently slow, reducing the average speeds of the racers to 50 mph or less."

The view looking east.

This is an undated view looking north. Note the U-shaped structure that does not appear in the 1939 aerials. This may be a paddock built when the raceway was converted to harness racing in 1940. Can anyone identify the building and year of the aerial?

This south-east view shows the relation of Roosevelt Raceway to the Meadowbrook Polo Club and the abandoned Motor Parkway.

Related links on VanderbiltCupRaces.com:


Feb 27 2012 Tom 3:45 AM

Why did they stop having races there? After 1936 and 37, it seemed successful the races. So what put a stop to it?
Very interesting photos

Sep 18 2012 Greg 8:21 PM

Just came across this old entry from Feb this year while doing a Google search on other unrelated Roosevelt Raceway articles. As I discovered on another page, the ‘U’ shaped building is indeed an early paddock for the harness track. Here is a link for the page that describes the area in the 50’s.

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