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  • A horse racing legend passes away

    ANY OF US WHO SPEND TIME AT SARATOGA, REMEMBERS THE SEMINARS GIVEN BY HARVEY PACK AND ANDY SERLING...THE GUY WAS A TRUE RACETRACK CHARACTER
    AND GREAT AMBASSADOR FOR THE SPORT...IF YOU LOVE HORSE RACING, YOU SHOULD READ HIS BOOK..IT IS FULL OF GREAT STORIES..AFTER I READ IT, I SENT IT TO MY GOOD FRIEND VINCENT(MR VOLO), WHO I KNEW WOULD ENJOY READING IT AND COULD PROBABLY ADD A FEW HARVEY PACK RACETRACK STORIES HIMSELF

    RIP

    Harvey Pack, legendary on-air racing personality, dead at 94


    David GreningJul 06, 2021
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    Coglianese Photos/NYRAHarvey Pack would close out his nightly recap show by tossing his program in the air and wishing his audience luck with his signature line, "May the Horse Be With You."
    Harvey Pack, a pioneer in the field of on-air racing personalities whose curmudgeonly personality and dry sense of humor made him a favorite among New York horseplayers, died Tuesday at his New York City apartment after complications from cancer. He was 94.
    Pack, a racing fan since in his youth, was a syndicated writer in the early 1970s when Off-Track Betting first began in New York and local radio stations were reporting the results during their twice-an-hour sports updates. Pack tried a different approach, giving the results in the form of a track announcer and developed “Pack at the Track,” a report he sold to WNBC. He was eventually hired by the New York Racing Association in 1974. Shortly thereafter, he became the host of “Thoroughbred Action,” a 30-minute nightly recap show of racing from New York Racing Association tracks that aired on cable television.
    An additional weekly recap show, “Inside Racing,” was also added.
    At the end of each show, Pack would toss his program toward the camera and sign off with his signature line, “May the Horse Be With You,” a play on the Star Wars line “May the Force Be With You.”
    Pack later wrote a book, along with Peter Thomas Fornatale, called “May the Horse Be With You.”
    At Saratoga, Pack became an icon for his daily handicapping seminars, which, after he left NYRA, continued at nearby Siro’s and were sponsored by Daily Racing Form.
    In an interview with Fornatale, Pack discussed his thoughts on being a celebrity.
    “A, I wasn’t paid enough to be a celebrity,” he said. “B, I didn’t really need the adoration and the hate. As I always told [NYRA commentator] Andy Serling, when you’re doing the job that we do they all hate you because they want the job. They all think they could have done it better. In my case, they could have done it better, but I had it.”
    John Imbriale, NYRA’s current track announcer, worked with Pack on “Inside Racing” and would be a fill-in host on those rare days Pack took off.
    “His ability to do everything off the top of his head,” Imbriale said when asked what stood out about Pack. “I saw him maybe three times have any notes in front of him and that was probably because it was an apprentice jockey who he didn’t know anything about. He just remembered so many things. Once he was told something about a particular person, he always remembered it.”
    Imbriale also praised Pack for his wit.
    “He was so quick on his feet with comeback lines, he was one of a kind,” Imbriale said.
    Serling befriended Pack long before he went to work at NYRA.
    “I was very fortunate to have worked with him and have been a good friend of his,” Serling said. “For all those people who knew how entertaining he was at the track, he was even more entertaining in real life. Anybody who worked in television in racing owes a debt of gratitude to Harvey.
    “He was all good things about New York racing, all things entertaining,” Serling added. “He called it as he saw it.”
    Joy Pack, Harvey’s wife of 70 years, said Pack was at home at the racetrack.
    “He loved all the people at the track,” she said. “He had a good life there.”
    In addition to Joy, Harvey is survived by his son Michael, daughter Jenna, five grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.
    Joy Pack said the family will hold a private service.


  • #2
    The name of the book “May the horse be with you”.As JD said “a must read”.Also on you tube there is a podcast with Andy Sterling in 2017 at Harvey’s apt in NYC which I think is the last occasion to hear Harvey and is also a must.I have a few Harvey stories from the few times I met him but want to keep this about him.Hope NYRA honors him Friday and flys flag at half mast.
    RIP

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