Rockingham Park 1933-1969
A History of Power, Glamour, and Gambling
by Paul Peter Jesep
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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