On Friday, June 10 at Belmont Park, one day before the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), The New York Racing Association will run the sixth race in memory of Jack Kelly.
Kelly, who passed away last September at the age of 61, spent nearly 30 years working at the racetrack, including more than two decades on the NYRA circuit of Aqueduct, Belmont, and Saratoga Race Course. Most recently, he served as a chart caller for Equibase, which hired him in 1998 as a field supervisor.
“Jack was a man of great intelligence and passion, universally admired and respected by his many friends,” said NYRA president and CEO Charles Hayward in a release. “He was always kind, generous, and genuine in his dealings with people, and has been missed greatly. It is only fitting that we run a race in his honor and memory at Belmont Park, his favorite track.”
After the sixth race on June 10, scheduled for a 3:37 p.m. post, NYRA will make a special winner’s circle presentation to Jack’s wife Nancy, who is the vice president of development for the Grayson-Jockey Club Research Foundation and executive director of The Jockey Club Foundation.
Kelly, a Philadelphia native and a graduate of Cal State-Hayward, was introduced to racing at a young age. He called charts on the Fresno Fair and Southern California circuits for SportsEye in the early 1980’s before joining the Daily Racing Form’s East Coast staff in 1984.
He once estimated that he had worked at 44 different racetracks through the years and had probably called more than 50,000 races.
Kelly served as president of the New York Turf Writers Association for many years and also was an officer in the organization.