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Harness Racing Hall of Famer Bob Quigley dies at 90

February 17, 2020

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Harness Racing Hall of Fame member Bob Quigley, a highly respected retired racing executive who led the team at the Meadowlands during its opening and early glory days, died Monday. He was 90.

Mr. Quigley was affectionately known as "Quigs" by the staff of the racetracks he managed. Richard Orbann, who served as general manager at Garden State Park while Mr. Quigley was that track’s president, told racing writer Bill Finley, "He was a beloved man. I don’t know anybody he didn’t like and anybody that didn’t like him. In our business, where jealously prevails, that’s a remarkable thing.”

Orbann said he spoke with Mr. Quigley Sunday and he seemed to be in good spirits, but he had a setback Monday and was rushed to Aventura Hospital in Aventura, FL, where he was pronounced dead.

Mr. Quigley was born in Atlantic City, NJ, and started in racing at Atlantic City Race Course, first working there as a laborer before working his way up the ladder to became the track’s executive vice president and general manager. He was hired to be a part of the Meadowlands team before the track was officially open, making sure the details were wrapped up to the satisfaction of CEO Sonny Werblin and Executive Director Jack Krumpe.

Mr. Quigley stayed at the Meadowlands for eight years, until 1985, when he left to lead the newly reopened Garden State Park, which had had burned down due to fire. He left Garden State in 1992 to oversee the new Retama Park.

During his years at the Meadowlands and Garden State Park, Mr. Quigley served as a director and member of the executive committee of Harness Tracks of America, and a director of the United States Trotting Association. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2013.

During his retirement years Mr. Quigley mostly followed Thoroughbred racing, but never forgot his harness racing days. One of the Thoroughbreds he raced was named Most Happy Fella, a nod to the great Standardbred.

Mr. Quigley is survived by his wife, Wanda; a son, Kevin; daughters Kelly and Karen; and five grandchildren.. Additional details will be posted when available.

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