A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 18, 2004
Numerous 1920s “Big Apple” citations in the New York Morning Telegraph
Gerald Cohen's 1991 monograph identified about seven "big apples." There are many more. The citations provide overwhelming detail of John J. Fitz Gerald's authorship and use of "the big apple."

The following are all from John J. Fitz Gerald, unless otherwise indicated. These were all found by me, unless indicated as "COHEN" (Gerald Cohen). A 1923 non-Morning Telegraph horseracing cite was found by Peter Jenson Brown. The Old Fulton Post Cards website has digitized some of the New York (NY) Morning Telegraph, and many citations can be found in a boolean search for "big apple" and "morning telegraph."

From the New York Morning Telegraph (except where otherwise indicated):

May 3, 1921 (COHEN): J. P. Smith, with Tippity Witchet and others of the L. T. Bauer string, is scheduled to start for "the big apple" to-morrow after a most prosperous Spring campaign at Bowie and Havre de Grace.

March 30, 1922: Always a hard worker, Turner is keenly desirous of leading the New York riders this year, and his affiliation with the Rose stable may enable him to do so, for there are many good ones in the barn and they will win plenty of races on "the big apple" this year.

April 1, 1922: He will have the acid test put to him on "The Big Apple" within a few weeks.

April 6, 1922: It would seem that the West holds a big call over the East in the Kentucky Oaks this year, for certainly the above three fillies far outranked anything of their age and sex shown on "the big apple" during 1921.

April 10, 1922: This is just as it should be, for the Jamaica track will open the season on "the big apple" on May 3.
(No byline. -- ed.)

April 17, 1922, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), "Big Crowd Turns Out to See Derby Horses Work at Local Ovals" by C. J. Savage, pg. 7, col. 2:
McDermott Goes East
Jockey Russell McDermott departs for New York tonight. He became connected with the Madden establishment a week ago and will give the "big apple" a trial for a change.

April 19, 1922: The Fisher horses will move on to Pimlico at the close here and then journey to Long Island for a campaign over "the big apple."
(No byline. -- ed.)

April 21, 1922: Johnnie Coakley is another who deserted "the big apple" for a whirl at the iron men.
(No byline. -- ed.)

April 23, 1922: It was a good performance and a convincer that he will held his own in the early racing on "the big apple."

April 27, 1922: Kimball Patterson will bring four of the Jim Beam flat racers to "the big apple" this Summer.
(No byline. -- ed.)

May 3, 1922 (COHEN): It looks like a big year on "the big apple."

May 3, 1922, The Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY), "Miss Jay Easily Wins Ashlands Oaks Event" by C. J. Savage, pg. 12, col. 5:
Local Horsemen Attend.
A number of horsemen came over from Louisville for today's racing, among them being Mose Goldblatt, John Ward and Joe Thomas. Harry Anderson finally deserted "the big apple" as the New York racing circuit is known and is on the scene here.

April 23, 1923 (COHEN): Racing returns to "the big apple" this afternoon.

October 17, 1923, The Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA), "Sande Says Zev Fastest of All Horses," pg. 18, col. 6:
At the close of the season on the Blue Grass tracks he journeyed eastward to ride his first winner on "the big apple" during the Empire City meeting.

November 16, 1923, The Evening Tribune (San Diego, CA), "Sande Real Riding Leader of the Year," pg. 24, cols. 4-5:
While such riders are T. Parke, P. Walls and L. McDermott attained good averages in other parts, it is generally conceded that the best of the country's jockeys show their wares on "the big apple."

HathiTrust Digital Library
December 1, 1923, The Thoroughbred Record (Lexington, KY), pg. 259, col. 3:
REPARATION WINS SOUTHERN REGIONAL HANDICAP.
BOWIE, Md., Nov. 24. -- Metropolitan horses continue to sweep the board at the Bowie course. The second important stake of the meeting went the way of an outfit from "the big apple" when J. E. Davis's Reparation led a big field over the mile of the Southern Maryland Handicap this afternoon.

February 18, 1924: (See "first explanation" heading.)

February 27, 1924: JAKE BYER, who surprised his fellow-trainers by slipping off to his Lakewood home and marrying Miss Dorothy Efros of that village, is enjoying a honeymoon trip through the Far West. The little horseman made his first stop at San Diego to take in a bit of the Tia Juana meeting, having a few horses campaigning at that point. He will return in time to take up and put in training the several he will race on "the big apple" this summer.

April 26, 1924 (COHEN): Racegoers have been impatiently awaiting the return of their favorite pastime to "the big apple."

April 30, 1924: ...journey to the big apple...

May 21, 1924, Miami (FL) Daily News and Metropolis, "Eastern Three Year Old Ordinance Is Liberally Engaged In Most Stakes" by Associated Press, pg. 19, col. 3:
NEW YORK, May 21. -- Racing at Jamaica during the last week has been notable chiefly for the fine showing of Ordinance. The son of Ormondale and Dona Roca is about the sweetest piece of horseflesh now in competition around the big apple and the majority of experts pronounce him the peer of his age division.

November 5, 1924: Willie Rosen and SLim Peterson celebrated another victory for "The Big Apple" in the mile and a sixteenth claimer, all starters to be entered for $2,000 or $1,500.

November 17, 1924: Under the efficient management of Jim O'Hara the sport has improved steadily, and a glance at to-morrow's program shows it is right up to the grade of "big apple" competition.

December 5, 1924: Each season at New Orleans sees the rise of some apprentice star... Parke and Lang both went on to better things around "the big apple."

December 23, 1924: New York, "the big apple" of racing, instead of stifling the growth of young jockeys, should be the first to aid in their development.

December 29, 1924: The initial is a sprint affair of six furlongs, which will be run during the United Hunts meeting, which preceded the regular opening on "the big apple"...

January 7, 1925: With such boys as McAtee, Turner, Kummer, O'Donnell, Stutts, and Schuttinger to draw from, there is an assurance of horsemanship close to "the big apple" standard. And there is no better than that in this wide world.

April 25, 1925 (COHEN): For there are no better judges of riding ability than the folk who make up the daily gatherings at the courses around "the big apple."

June 29, 1925: Chicago will open the big Illinois season on Thursday. The big apple of the West promises enthusiasts the best sport they have seen in years...

July 13, 1925: The A. C. Bostwick stable, unable to make time around "the big apple," is doing rather well in Chicago, where the opposition is not so formidable.

July 23, 1925: "Mac" was the last rider to sport a mustache around the big apple...

August 6, 1925: Still he has been a three time stake winner on the "Big Apple" this season, a record many youngsters cannot boast of.

August 29, 1925: Quite a few will freshen up here until Tuesday before embarking for the big apple and Belmont Park, while many will remain in the Spring water village until Maryland's opening at Havre de Grace.

September 1, 1925: R. L. Miller informed Beau Belmont...back in March that he considered the New York circuit too speedy for his performance and that he would give the "leaky roof" tracks a chance this Summer. He swtiched his plans, however, and still is with us on "the big apple"...

September 27, 1925: He has been a regular on the "big apple" for thirty years...

September 28, 1925: Cherry Pie, New York's lone contribution to the $10,000 Toronto Autumn Cup Handicap, was forced to accept a sound beating from Horologe, one that learned his racing ways on "the big apple," but who now campaigns for the California owned Joaquin Stable.

September 30, 1925: The Rancocas Stable picks no soft spots for its maidens in these late days of racing on "the big apple."

October 7, 1925: Hayai and Lacewood, two fillies that campaigned at Miami, are doing right well around the "big apple."

October 10, 1925: You can't stop the Rancocas youngsters in these waning days of 1925 racing around "the big apple"...

January 7, 1926: The elderly son of Ultimus is a stake runner in the going, as he has shown often around "the big apple."

January 9, 1926: This three boys did far better than any of the others active around the big apple.

January 11, 1926: Around "the big apple" you hear little of this horsemen's organization, a "hard boot" combine whose members play scant part in metropolitan racing.

December 1, 1926: (See "second explanation" heading.)

December 16, 1926: The boys from "The Big Apple" garnered a little Christmas money when three New York owned thoroughbreds sped past the judges in front yesterday.

January 13, 1927: In Fall racing around "The Big Apple," Catalan, a fast son of Fair Play, and at one time a rater...

January 16, 1927: "Pony" McAtee, crack rider from the Big Apple, showed Floridians one of his stoutest finishes...

April 26, 1927 (COHEN): Beau Belmont can not recall a big apple racing period that left the barrier to a better start.

November 30, 1927 (by Lanny):
Tijuana Racetrack, Mexico...
ONE FOR NEW YORK
The New York youngster, Topay S., claimed by A. T. Sansone back on the "Big Apple" last Summer, jumped out of the maiden ranks in the fifth.

June 15, 1928 (COHEN): On the Big Apple. (Title of column -- ed.)

November 29, 1928 (by Lanny): McDaniel is shooting at $200,000 in stake money with a fair chance of carting it back with him when he returns to the "Big Apple" late next March.

December 12, 1928 (by Lanny): Tijuana Racetrack... The Tatar, back on the "Big Apple," was considered a fair hide when it came to leaving the string.

December 14, 1928:
Tijuana Racetrack, Mexico...
FOR ME TAKES BULL RUN
For Me, a horse from the sticks, clashed with Bull Run, a one-time first-rate sprinter on the "Big Apple," and in a hard drive that lasted more than half a mile, the busher got the verdict.

December 15, 1928 (by Walter Moriarty): One of the speediest 2-year-olds on the Big Apple--finishing third in the Juvenile Stakes at Belmont.

December 16, 1928 (by Walter Moriarty): The Greentree management...tried their best to win with Simon, but he could get nowhere around the Big apple. Saratoga, Aqueduct and Jamaica all saw him in action, but one second was the best he could get.

December 24, 1928 (by Walter Moriarty): He is a capable pilot, a good horseman, while not of caliber required on the "big apple," still proficient enough at Oriental Park.

December 29, 1928: This flashy miss won three straight on the "Big Apple" before being taken to Cuba, where she has annexed two more.
Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityThe Big Apple1920s: John J. Fitz Gerald and the N.Y. Morning Telegraph • Sunday, July 18, 2004 • Permalink