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The 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 Race" started.

This is the origianl article and pictures which were printed in our August 1978 progam, which was the night of our 1st Great Greyhound Race.

Some of the face's may have changed but Seabrook still remains the original...

"House of Action"

Seabrook Ribbon Cutting
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 Racing Commissioner.

The original 90 day wonders—officers commissioned after three months training in World War II—have long since disappeared into the crowd.

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 successful operations.

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 has been.

“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 elsewhere.

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 weekday night.

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!

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