Saturday, November 6, 2010

Memories of Brandywine?

Have memories of Brandywine Raceway?  Heather Moffett on Post Time recently interviewed Michael Wirtschafter, who is attempting to get Brandywine Raceway included in the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame.  Brandywine was a 5/8th mile track which was located just outside of Wilmington, Delaware and was 'the' track to be at in its time.  Many of the sports's equine stars were born or made an appearance at the Big B as plenty of the Grand Circuit trainers were stabled at Brandywine.  The Battle of the Brandwine was originally contested there. 

In its heyday, Brandywine was half of the Brandywine - Liberty Bell Park circuit.  Drivers like Herve Fillion, Billy Haughton, Eddie Cobb, Ross Hayter, Jimmy Larente, and Stanley Dancer were regulars there and horses like Town Drunk and Niatross would race there.  The racing was great and the 4th of July doubleheaders were looked forward to.  Brandywine was a special place, so special that I used to bypass the racing action at the Meadowlands, Yonkers and Freehold and make the three and a half hour trip to go to the Big B several times a year.  The place had charm, something a lot of today's tracks lack. 

Here is a clip of the Post Time show which discusses the effort to get Brandywine recognized.  If you can supply memories of Brandywine,an email address is given during the interview.




5 comments:

vic p said...

Wow!Breeders Cup day and revisiting
Brandywine=Liberty Bell.Great racing,gteat memories.A time when
tracks and circuits worked together.A shame the Big B could not last until the slots era.

Pacingguy said...

Sure is. I remember the operators of Brandywine were begging for slots and the Delaware legislature defeated legislation to authorize slots. Of course, we know what happened.

Anonymous said...

i cut me teeth in harness racing @ Brandywine and Liberty Bell

a few Brandywine moments stick out in my mind

first and foremost-i was a teenager and recall the great No Nukes compete in the Battle of B--No Nukes went first up and Herve followed him around w Icarus Lobell and nipped No Nukes on the money

another one was when a huge pacer Merger-broke in his Battle elim and didnt make the final
however in the consolation--he paced a monster mile pacing faster than the winner of the Battle on the same card--i think that was the best race a pacer ever paced over the Brandywine oval-i can just recall his powerful strides gliding over the 5/8 oval like no other pacer ever had

another Battle memory was Vankirk winning the Battle driven by a very young Steve Warrington

yet another Battle was when French Chef faced off vs Arties Dream
French Chef paced a 27.4 opening quarter--unheard of in those days
but has nothin left and was no match for the super sharp Arties Dream

Ross Hayter drove a young filly pacer named Precious Beauty--i think she won her first 11 or 12 starts--most of then at Brandywine

a very young John Campbell also gave a super drive aboard Windshield Wiper

those Sunday night cards were just so tremendous in quality

Town Drunk had a long winning streak-toying with the Open pacers like men vs boys

Sandi Fisher said...

yeah - - and I remember when an 8 yr. old mare named REED'S WAYLAY, beat all the boys in the BATTLE OF THE B...
AND the colorful COL. DAVE HERMAN...
one of a kind

MR. JOEMAN said...

yea, there were alot of tough horses back then, meadow blue chip with ross hayter, london shadow with michel lachance, miss conna adios, mr. overnite, sea lord, lehigh local i can keep going on,the place was awesome. i used to make some bucks on the french connection herve filion, yves filion, mike lachance, they used to have the big E to wager on.

mr joeman