Brighton Beach Race Course

The Brighton Beach Race Course was an American Thoroughbred horse racing facility in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, New York, opened on June 28, 1879 by the Brighton Beach Racing Association.[1] Headed by real estate developer William A. Engeman, who owned the Brighton Beach Hotel, the one-mile race track was located in back of the hotel and bounded by Ocean Parkway on the west, Neptune Avenue on the north, Coney Island Avenue on the east, and Brighton Beach Avenue on the south.[2] An instant success, the race track drew wealthy patrons from New York City, and harness racing was introduced there in 1901.[3][4]

Brighton Beach Race Course
LocationBrighton Beach, Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York, United States
Owned byBrighton Beach Racing Association
Date openedJune 28, 1879 (145 years ago) (1879-06-28)
Course typeFlat & Steeplechase
Notable races
Brighton Derby
Brighton Handicap
Brighton Junior Stakes
Brighton Mile
Brighton Oaks
Iroquois Stakes
Islip Handicap
Seagate Stakes
Test Handicap

Among its most important Thoroughbred horse racing events were the Brighton Derby for three-year-olds and the Brighton Handicap that was open to older horses. On July 17, 1900, James R. Keene's horse Voter set a new World Record of 1:38.00 for a mile on dirt at the Brighton Beach Race Course.[5]

The track prospered until 1908 when the New York Legislature passed the Hart–Agnew Law banning gambling in New York State.[6][7][8] Motor racing events were held at the facility in an attempt to keep the track from closing but even after horse racing returned to New York it was too late to save the track. At the time it ceased horse racing operations, the Brighton Beach Race Course was the oldest horse track in steady use in the New York City area.[9] The former racetrack, later known as the Brighton Beach Motordrome was then used for automobile 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.


  1. ^ "Races at Brighton Beach; Horses Floundering in the Sand". The New York Times. June 29, 1879. p. 12. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  2. ^ Brooklyn, NY Quadrangle (Map). 1:62,500. 15 Minute Series (Topographic). United States Geological Survey. 1898. § SW. Archived from the original on 2010-05-26. Retrieved 2010-02-13.
  3. ^ "Brighton Beach Trots; Completed Programme Shows Attractive Entries for Races". The New York Times. August 5, 1901. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  4. ^ "Crowd at Harness Races; Brighton Trotting Meeting Opened with Fine Sport". The New York Times, page 5. 1901-08-14. Retrieved 2020-02-08.
  5. ^ "Voter Beat All Records; Keene's Fleet Horse Made a New World's Mark for a Mile". The New York Times. July 18, 1900. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  6. ^ Rhode, Paul W.; Strumpf, Koleman (October 2008), Historical Political Futures Markets: An International Perspective (PDF), National Bureau of Economic Research, archived from the original (PDF) on 2010-07-11, retrieved 2010-01-16
  7. ^ "Brighton to Try Turf Experiment; Purse Programmes Will Test Popularity of Racing Under New Conditions". The New York Times. July 6, 1908. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  8. ^ "Won't Sell Brighton Track; William Engeman Denies Reports that Negotiations Are Pending". The New York Times. August 10, 1908. p. 1. Retrieved 2010-01-16.
  9. ^ "Crowd at Harness Races; Brighton Trotting Meeting Opened with Fine Sport". The New York Times. August 14, 1891. p. 5. Retrieved 2010-01-16.

40°34′45″N 73°57′49″W / 40.57917°N 73.96361°W / 40.57917; -73.96361