Viva Italia! Track-goers celebrate Italian-American Heritage Day festivities

Aug 20, 2018 765

BY: Paul Post

For Mike Campanile, Wednesday’s first race brought back fond memories when a horse named Brockton George went to the post. “The first bet I ever made was in 1969 at the Brockton (Mass.) State Fair,” he said. “They had thoroughbred horse racing. My friend and I split a $2 win bet on a horse that threw his jockey when he came out of the gate, and we watched the horse run around the track without a jockey!”

From that inauspicious start, Campanile, of East Patchoque, Long Island, has gone on to come a skilled handicapper who makes multiple visits to Saratoga Race Course each year. He and his wife, Martha, and their daughter, Christine Dunbar, of South Burlington, Vt., were among the many fans who turned out Wednesday for Italian-American Day festivities that included food, music and a trackside Italian folk dance performance following the day’s third race.

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