In 1980, I was fortunate to live close to the now defunct Roosevelt Raceway. It was my home track and it was the place that I first heard one of the greatest voices in harness racing. My first visit to the track was in 1980 and what caught my attention, was a voice, one that made horse racing much more enjoyable to listen to as it did to watch. Jack E. Lee, in my opinion, was the greatest harness announcer ever. His race calling was incredibly accurate, with smooth delivery and ability to raise the excitement level of each race he called. He called most of his races at Roosevelt Raceway from 1968 to 1985. Jack also called races at Freehold Raceway (1966, 1990–1998) and at Suffolk (Parr) Meadows on Long Island from 1986-1987.
When I couldn’t get to the track, I would stop at a local OTB (Off Track Betting) to bet on the evening’s race card at Roosevelt Raceway. It was Jack Lee and his mellow voice and play by play style that made every race that more exciting to listen to.
Jack E. Lee co-hosted the show called “Racing from Roosevelt” with Stan Bergstein and Spencer Ross on Superstation WOR-TV. Here you can tune in and watch all the race replays and analysis of that evenings race card. When I couldn’t watch the races live, I would go make my bets earlier in the day at a local OTB and tune into the show at night to see how well I did.
New York Met fans may remember in the 70’s when Lee was the PA announcer for the New York Mets at Shea Stadium.
In this video, Stan Bergstein shows the late Jack E. Lee getting prepared for the next race. It takes a lot of practice and excellent memory in calling a horse race.
Jack E. Lee died on July 30, 2009. Lee was retired, living in Florida.
The golden voice of harness racing will never be forgotten.