02/20/2013 2:59PM

Sam Abbey, longtime racing official, dies in crash

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In addition to Hialeah, Sam Abbey had worked at Atlantic City Race Course, Delaware Park, and Fair Grounds.

Sam Abbey, a racing official whose career in the sport spanned 43 years, died on Tuesday night in a car accident, his current employer, Hialeah Park in Florida, confirmed on Wednesday. He was 65.

Abbey had been employed at Hialeah as the director of racing since the track reopened for Quarter Horse racing in 2009. Previously, Abbey had served for nine years as the track’s racing secretary when the showcase South Florida facility ran a spring Thoroughbred meet.

“Hialeah Park is saddened to announce the passing of our beloved director of racing,” the track said in an Internet posting. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Sam’s family. His memory will live on in the halls of Hialeah Park, now and forever.”

Abbey was well-liked in the racing industry, and word of the car accident had spread up and down the East Coast on Wednesday morning. He had previously served as the racing secretary at Atlantic City Race Course in New Jersey, Delaware Park in Delaware, and Fair Grounds Race Course in New Orleans.