history of Seabrook Greyhound Park is very interesting and important to
the many people who have been a part of it. On this page you will
learn about how Seabrook came about and how our "Great Greyhound
This is the origianl article and pictures which were printed in our
August 1978 progam, which was the night of our 1st Great Greyhound
Some of the face's may have changed but Seabrook still remains the original...
"House of Action"
Ribbon cutting cermony July 3, 1973- "We're open!" In photo from left to right:
Robert Whalen, Governor's Councillor; Edward J
Keelan, President, Yankee Greyhound Racing, Inc.; Robert Allard,
Greyhound Racing Commissioner; Dr. Thomas F Carney, Treasurer;
Joseph E Carney, Jr., General Manager; and Thomas Tessier, Greyhound
The original 90 day wonders—officers commissioned after three
months training in World War II—have long since disappeared into
But one modern 90-day wonder is still not only very much in evidence it is getting stronger all the time.
That would be Seabrook Greyhound Park, the biggest little dog track in the country.
Back in the spring of 1973, Seabrook track was built and opened exactly
90 days from the time the first bulldozer began clearing trees from the
vast plot of land. It opened Saturday night, July 2 and it has been
going year round ever since.
Originally, Seabrook had planned only to operate during the summer. But
the response of the patrons was so tremendous and its success such a
dominant factor in providing much needed revenue for the state of New
Hampshire that state officials from Governor Meldrim Thomson Jr. down
encouraged track officials to stay open.
Seabrook Greyhound Park is operated by Yankee Greyhound Racing, Inc. It
was the brainchild of Edward J. Keelan, Dr. Thomas F. Carney and his
brother Joseph Carney Jr. who are president, treasurer, and
vice-president, general manager of Yankee.
Keelan, for years the guiding genius of Raynham, MA dog track after
succeeding the late Russ Murray, is regarded as one of the foremost
promoters in the greyhound racing sport. The Carneys, originally from
Lawrence, were associated with two Florida tracks, Pensacola and Key
West, which they took over as stuttering plants and turned them into
They called their new track on the New Hampshire seacoast the
“House of Action.” And an appropriate name it is because
since it first opened its door that Saturday night, July 2, 1973 even
though it wasn’t entirely finished, that’s where the action
“Big payoffs, different types of wagering, that’s what
attracts the racing fans,” Keelan pointed out. “ So we made
it a point to give them what they wanted.”
Seabrook has the standard type straight, place and showing betting. That is for the more conservative types.
It has three different types of multiple wagering quinielas, trifectas
and a superfecta plus a racetrack standard, the daily double, they all
produce juicy payoffs at times and that’s what the fans like.
Each time a four-figure payoff is flashed on the tote board, the bettor thinks he might grab the next one if he keeps trying.
The promotion minded Yankee officials introduced many innovations,
which have proved popular with their patrons and have been copied
One first was the “Early Bird Special” on Saturdays and
holidays, a 10-race morning program, which with the regular matinee and
night cards, made for a triple-header. At first Seabrook offered a free
continental breakfast for the Early Birds, some of who arrived at the
track at 8 A.M. for the 10 o’clock post time. As morning
attendances grew, however, the breakfast part had to be erased but the
idea had caught on and the fans turned out regardless.
And many of them stayed for two “shows” at least.
Turkeys were given away in pre-Thanksgiving drawings; candy and flowers
to the ladies for Valentines Day; free luncheons and dinners to lucky
ticket holders; men’s hairpieces to those with fringe or less on
top; and TV sets and other gifts on giveaway programs.
Another innovation which proved popular is the Getaway Weekend. In
conjunction with hotels at nearby Hampton Beach, the track put together
a package by which a couple, for a very nominal fee, could spend two
nights at a hotel and two nights at the track with dinner, program and
all the fixings.
A night-out program at the track for groups from clubs, businesses,
senior citizens and the like was established. A bus was provided free
if the party was big enough and the program became so popular it was an
exception rather that the rules if there was no party at the track on a
It was inevitable that a “marriage” of the track and the
New Hampshire Sweepstakes would take place to produce The Great Greyhound Race.”
Twice previously, the New Hampshire Sweeps Commission held Drawings for
$100,000 prizes in conjunctions with Seabrook Race. The eight finalists
in the 50-50 Sweeps, who had been drawn previously, were present at the
track to draw one of the eight greyhounds in a designated race with the
holder of the ticket on the winning dog collecting the big prize.
From there the idea was born for the Great Greyhound Race!