Watching the races at the Brighton Beach track

Brighton Beach was developed as a swanky summer resort in the 1860s; impressive hotels were built at the water’s edge. And after Ocean Parkway was extended and the Brighton Beach Railroad completed, the crowds really started coming.

One major attraction: The Brighton Beach Race Course, opened in 1879. It featured thoroughbred horse racing and later harness racing (on sand, oddly enough), soon attracting wealthy New Yorkers who liked betting on the ponies.


But in 1908, New York State severely restricted gambling, and that put a serious dent in the horse racing business. Course owners came up with a novel idea: converting the track into a “motordrome” for auto racing. 

The crowds loved it; tens of thousands sat in the grandstand to watch races.

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3 Responses to “Watching the races at the Brighton Beach track”

  1. Auto body shop Arlington Virginia VA Says:

    Hi this jimmy Wilson, great information The Brighton Beach Race Course was an American Thoroughbred horse racing facility opened at Brighton Beach on June 28, 1879 by the Brighton Beach Racing Association. The racetrack was then used for automomobile racing for a time and after other measures failed to make it viable, the facility was finally torn down and by the 1920s replaced by residential housing.

  2. Brighton Beach – Latest Brighton Beach news – Watching the races at the Brighton Beach track « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Watching the races at the Brighton Beach track « Ephemeral New York […]

  3. A Fulton Street motorman—and his trolley « Ephemeral New York Says:

    […] Check out the ad on the front right of the trolley, for “Auto Races” at the Brighton Beach Race Track. […]

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