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Sam Abbey, longtime racing official, dies in crash
By Matt Hegarty
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.
My Heart goes out to Sam's Family. We went to High School together, Sam was a good friend of mine and we in Ferndale California will miss him. So very sad for All that loved him, we will miss you Sam. Winnie Beal
On behalf of the family, thank you for your kind words and condolances. There will be a memorial service near his home in Rising Sun, MD on Monday, March 4. More info and messages to the family can be left here...http://rtfoard.tributes.com/show/Sam-J.-Abbey-95324462
Sam was a good friend of my dads. I'll never forget the vacations in the Poconos or the first time betting at Delaware park. You we're a good man Sam. My thoughts & prayers are with you & your family.
The Sport of Kings has now lost thier King. A gentle man and an asset to racing!!!!
Oh boy, Sam. The racing industry is less colorful today without your mischievous smile, great laugh and, most of all, your love of this sport. The AC race Course flag flies at half mast in your memory, honor and with gratitude for touching so many in the Sport of Kings. God be with you now, until we meet again, my friend.
I didn't know Sam well but because of him I have my horse and I can never thank him enough for that. I won't get into the details but in short, Sam did right by my horse when he fell into bad hands(prior to my ownership of him) . I'll never forget the morning when I called Sam and he said "if you still want him he's yours". My prayers go out to his entire family
My father was an amazing man, my heart has exploded. It is not fair that he was taken from us to soon...I love you daddy
There are no words to express our sadness ...Our love and prayers are with Cheryl and all the kids and grand kids ...he will be sorely missed....Mike,Tracy,Corey,and Alix
Sam has been our friend for almost 40 years. We're devastated. Our prayers are with Cheryl and the family. Debbie and John McGourty
Very, very sad day for the Racing Industry. RIP Sam you were one of a kind!
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