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Rockingham Park 1933-1969
A History of Power, Glamour, and Gambling

by Paul Peter Jesep

cover The saga of Lou and Lutza Smith is a paradox. Lou brought horse racing to New Hampshire outraging many people and especially the state's religious community. Yet during Lou's lifetime and after his death, he and his wife gave millions of dollars to various charities both in New Hampshire and in Massachusetts, especially, Cardinal Cushing's Catholic charities.

Many famous jockies and race horses raced on the track at Rockingham, including Seabiscuit and War Emblem.

Whether or not one liked the idea of gambling on horses, Smith's racetrack in Salem generated over 100 million dollars for the state's general fund. In many years twenty percent or more of the state budget was funded through track revenues.

New Hampshire's governors and members of the congressional delegation regularly visited the track, aware that Lou Smith had powerful allies in the legislature and the Republican Party. And who was going to oppose the man who brought so much money into state coffers.

Although some people questioned his background, Lou prided himself on running a clean track and it operated with nary a hint of scandal.

Prior to his death, Lou established the framework for the Lou and Lutza Smith Charitable Foundation. It wasn't until Lutza's death in 1984 that the Foundation was fully funded with upwards of $4 million in assets, money which has been given to a variety of charities.

Published in coopertion with the Lou and Lutza Smith Foundation.

128 pp. 7 x 10"
Cloth, 0-914339-71-0 $25s

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