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. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 15, 2019
Beau Belmont

The New York (NY) Morning Telegraph newspaper had a long-running Broadway gossip column (1908-1972) called “The Town in Review” that was written by many people under the name of “Beau Broadway.” A similar column about horse racing was titled “The Turf in Review” and was written by “Beau Belmont.”
The “Beau Belmont” column ran from 1927 to 1940. Unlike “Beau Broadway,” however, the “Beau Belmont” column was written by just one person—John J. (Jack) Fitz Gerald (1892-1963). Fitz Gerald popularized the term “Big Apple” in the 1920s for New York’s big money tracks (Belmont Park and others).
The original “Beau Belmont,” however, was probably Joseph E. Widener (1871-1943), who ran Belmont Park from 1925 to 1939. A Widener profile titled “Beau Belmont” was published in The New Yorker on September 3, 1927.
Wikipedia: Belmont Park
Belmont Park is a major thoroughbred horse racing facility in the northeastern United States, located in Elmont, New York, just east of the New York City limits. Opened 114 years ago on May 4, 1905, it is operated by the non-profit New York Racing Association, as are Aqueduct and Saratoga Race Course. The group was formed in 1955 as the Greater New York Association to assume the assets of the individual associations that ran Belmont, Aqueduct, Saratoga, and the now-defunct Jamaica Race Course.
Belmont Park is typically open for racing from late April through mid-July (known as the Spring meet), and again from mid-September through late October (the Fall meet). It is widely-known as the home of the Belmont Stakes in early June, regarded as the “Test of the Champion”, the third leg of the Triple Crown.
Along with Saratoga Race Course in Upstate New York, Keeneland and Churchill Downs in Kentucky, and Del Mar and Santa Anita in California, Belmont is considered one of the elite racetracks in North America.
The race park’s main dirt track has earned the nickname, “the Big Sandy,” given its prominent overall dimensions (1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 km)) and the deep, sometimes tiring surface. Belmont is also sometimes known as “The Championship Track” because almost every major champion in racing history since the early 20th century has competed on the racecourse – including all of the Triple Crown winners. Belmont Park, with its wide, sweeping turns and long homestretch, is considered one of the fairest racetracks.
Wikipedia: Joseph E. Widener
Joseph Early Widener (August 19, 1871 – October 26, 1943) was a wealthy American art collector who was a founding benefactor of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. A major figure in Thoroughbred horse racing, he was head of New York’s Belmont Park and builder of Miami, Florida’s Hialeah Park racetrack.
As part of the selloff of the August Belmont Jr. estate, in 1925 Joseph Widener also acquired majority control of Belmont Park in Elmont, New York and would serve as the race track’s president until 1939 when failing health necessitated his stepping down.
The New Yorker 
Beau Belmont
By G. F. T. Ryall August 26, 1927
The New Yorker, September 3, 1927 P. 17
PROFILE of Joseph E. Widener. He owns one of the most complete libraries of sporting books and the finest private collection of Rembrandts in the world. In Lynwood Hall art gallery are 16 Rembrandt’s including the famous “The Mill” for which his father paid five hundred thousand dollars. There are Titians, Raphaels, Gainsboroughs, Van Dycks, Holbeins, Millets and many other masterpieces. Experts appraise the collection at from fifty to sixty millions. Tells about the two Rembrandts involving Prince Youssoupoff lawsuit.
21 September 1927, Binghamton (NY) Press, “Reigh Count Is Great Prospect for Juvenile Stakes of Late Fall,” pg. 25, col. 7:
... Beau Belmont in the New York Morning Telegraph ...
11 October 1927, Binghamton (NY) Press, “Spinning the Sports Top” by Al Lamb, pg. 18, col. 1:
... praised by Beau Belmont in his column “The Turf in Review,” in the New York Morning Telegraph.
26 August 1928, The Morning Telegraph (New York, NY), pg. 12, col. 2:
Follow Beau Belmont
The “Turf in Review” appears in The Morning Telegraph daily, with the exception of Sunday. It has been conducted by John J. Fitz Gerald since first published. Under the nom de course of “Beau Belmont” he brings to you news and gossip of the turf, in addition to reviewing past events in an impartial manner and discussing features to come.
19 January 1929, Miami (FL) Daily News and Metropolis, pg. 13, col. 6:
The Turf In Review
11 March 1929, Lexington (KY) Herald, pg. 9, col. 3:
—Beau Belmont in New York Morning Telegraph.
23 February 1930, Miami (FL) Daily News, sports sec., pg. 4, col. 7:
Gossip Of The Course
28 February 1931, The Herald (Miami, FL), “Charity Day Races Will be Broadcast,” pg. 16, col. 3:
... John J. FitzGerald, “Beau Belmont” of The Morning Telegraph and a man whose brain is an encyclopedia of the turf sport; ...
15 August 1931, Binghamton (NY) Press, “Foremost Turf Writers Visit Willis Sharpe Kilmer’s Stables Here,” pg. 3, col. 8:
Mr. Fitzgerald (John J. Fitz Gerald—ed.) of the New York Morning Telegraph’s foremost expert. Under the nome de plume of “Beau Belmont,” he gives his opinion of the most important happenings among thoroughbred, their breeders, owners, trainers and jockeys, contributes a wealth of information about past and future racing events.
11 February 1933, The Evening Sun (Baltimore, MD), “The Ear-To-The-Ground Department Hears,” pg. 2, col. 6:
Jack (Beau Belmont) Fitzgerald, in The Morning Telegraph of today, writes: ...
18 February 1933, The Evening Sun (Baltimore, MD), “Joyner Against Early Racing Of 2-Year-Olds,” pg. 2, col. 5:
Today, we are vastly encouraged by an item in Jack “Beau Belmont” FitzGerald’s column in The Morning Telegraph, ...
6 March 1937, The Evening Sun (Baltimore, MD), “Horsemen Keyed Up for Vote on D. C. Race Bill” by Russell Oakes, pg. 2, cols. 1-2:
John J. (Jack) FitzGerald, in his Beau Belmont column in The Morning Telegraph, reports ...
19 February 1938, Lexington (KY) Leader, “The Horse Trail” by Dan J. Mahany, pg. 5, col. 3:
Listen to Beau Belmont (Jack Fitzgerald) of the Morning Telegraph: ...
6 January 1939, The Globe and Mail (Toronto, ON), “Hoof Beats” by Douglas Eppes, pg. 16, col. 7:
The writer confesses that he is a bit surprised at Handicapper McLennan rating Lawrin above Stagehand, and he finds there are others, for instance, Beau Belmont of the New York Telegraph, who asked McLennan a question or two, ...
13 July 1940, Binghamton (NY) Press, “Writers,” pg. 26, col. 1:
JOHN J. FITZGERALD, “Beau Belmont,” of the N. Y. Morning Telegraph: ...
Google Books
Ringers & Rascals:
The True Story of Racing’s Greatest Con Artists

By David Ashforth
Lexington, KY: Eclipse Press
Pg. 66:
On October 6, writing under the pen name of “Beau Belmont,” FitzGerald reported, ” ‘Nate’ Raymond journeyed over to Havre de Grace to drop $2,400 in the machines on Shem, and the country was flooded with money for this first-time starter.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Saturday, June 15, 2019 • Permalink

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