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Ben White Raceway

Information on Ben White Raceway from the UCF Library:

Ben White Raceway was the largest training facility and winter home for champion racehorses. Located in Fairview Park, a 120-acre tract about 3 miles from downtown Orlando, the raceway was owned and maintained by the City of Orlando. The track was named in honor of one of the nation’s most famous trainers, Ben White, who won numerous titles and chose Orlando as a training site in 1920. As a result of White’s international reputation, the track became known as “the colt capital of harness racing”.

Ben White Raceway, however, lost popularity as it proved to be too expensive to ship horses to Orlando. In July 2001, the name was changed to Trotters Park at the request of Ben White’s family because the track no longer had anything to do with harness racing. By January 10, 2002, the City of Orlando decided to close the already struggling facility and use the property for a city park.

According to the 1963 R. L. Polk’s Orlando and Winter Park Directory, the Ben White Raceway was located at 1805 Lee Road. John E. Long is listed as the blacksmith. Adjacent to the raceway at 1820 Lee Road was James R. Stockman Harness Shop.

The 1971 Directory lists all the horses, stables and owners with additional information. Additional items below under Attachments.

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Ben White Raceway Aerial View circa 1963

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Ben White Raceway Directory 1971

Front cover of the 1971 Directory for Ben White Raceway.

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Ben White Raceway 1971 Directory
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Comments to “Ben White Raceway”

  1. Peggy says:

    I am looking for the relatives of the owners of a restaurant that was there at the time. Their last name was Sherrard from Sandusky, Ohio. We used to go up on the roof and watch the horse races. I lived near them and went to school with their children.
    Thank you.

    • Kim P says:

      Do you mean the buffet that was near the entrance on Lee Road? They had the best roast beef!
      If you look at the Orange County Comptroller’s site and search for property records under that name, you might be able to find out when they sold their property.
      If you go to the Orange County Property Appraiser’s site, you can search on that last name and find that there are three people in Orange County with that name, but I have no idea if they are related. If you live in Orange County, visit one of our libraries and use Ancestry to search for obituaries or visit the downtown Orlando library and search our city directories and old phone books to see if you can find any old information on the family. Good Luck!

  2. Cathleen Hunzeker says:

    I lived there in the mid 50s. On the back quarter mile track in the cinderblock houses. The stories and descriptions I remember are like yesterday. I am looking fir one horse. Bay Gay. Anyone remember the owner?

    • Edie Kinem says:

      My Mother worked for Ben White, Jr during 88-92…I remember it well. During that time, I worked for Skip Lewis. There was many good horses came off that track, world champions!
      Merry Christmas!

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