Sam Abbey

Sam Abbey

Coady Photography

Hialeah Park's Abbey Dies in Car Accident

Racing director also had worked at Calder, Fair Grounds, and Atlantic City.

Condolences poured into Hialeah Park Feb. 20 mourning the death of Sam Abbey, director of racing for the racetrack near Miami.

In a Facebook post, Hialeah Park announced the passing of Abbey, who was 65.

"Hialeah Park is saddened to announce the passing of our beloved director of racing, Sam Abbey, who was killed in an automobile accident last night," the track posted Feb. 20. "Our thoughts and prayers are with Sam's family. His memory will live on in the halls of Hialeah and forever."

In a return to his favorite track, Abbey took over racing secretary duties for Hialeah in 2009 for its Quarter Horse meet.

"Hialeah Park has always been my favorite racetrack and (Hialeah Park owner) John Brunetti has been supportive of me throughout my career," Abbey said. "I couldn't ask for a better opportunity and look forward to making this meet a big success."

The Florida Highway Patrol reports that Abbey died at the scene after a head-on collision at 10:40 p.m. in Miami-Dade County. According to the police report, Abbey was travelling north in a south-bound lane of Old State Road 9 when the accident occurred. The driver of the other car, Derrick Roundtree II and his passenger, Marc LaFrance, were transported to a local hospital with injuries.

Abbey began his career in horse racing more than 43 years ago and worked at major racetracks most of his career. Abbey previously spent nine years as racing secretary at Hialeah Park when it conducted Thoroughbred racing, and he held similar positions at Atlantic City Race Course, Delaware Park, and Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots.