Eddie Brown, who worked for many years at Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park and Saratoga Race Course, most recently as the New York Racing Association's assistant clerk of scales, has passed away, NYRA announced Sunday. Brown, who was 85, retired in 2019 and lived in Seaford, NY.
A racetrack to the core, Brown turned a childhood love of horse racing into a career on the track that lasted more than 65 years. He was a throwback, a colleague with great reverence for the sport, an encyclopedic knowledge of its history and a love for sharing the wisdom of what he knew with fellow employees and fans. He fell in love with racing as a boy attending Jamaica Racetrack and made his way in the sport galloping horses and working as an assistant to the trainers, Frank Wright and Lefty Nickerson. Joining NYRA in 1972, he worked as a valet with Hall of Fame riders Angel Cordero, Jr., Steve Cauthen, Jerry Bailey and Pat Day.
Brown was Day's valet when he won the 1989 Belmont Stakes on Easy Goer, which he once described as his favorite memory of the “Test of the Champion.” And Brown maintained close friendships with all those riders, especially Bailey, who when working with NBC at Belmont or Saratoga always made a beeline for the jockey room to see him.
Brown, a widower, was laid to rest Saturday at Pinelawn Memorial Park in Pinelawn, NY. Krauss Funeral Home handled the arrangements and has a tribute page on its website where anyone is welcome to leave a note that it will pass along to the family. In the coming days, NYRA will honor Brown with a moment of silence.