Arizona Rites Held for James Dunnigan; Was Founder of Buffalo Raceway

The Sun and the Erie County Independent
April 14, 1983

Services were held in Scottsdale, Ariz., last week at the convenience of the family for James J. Dunnigan, the founder and former owner of Buffalo Raceway who died there April 6 following a long illness. He was 70.

"Jimmy" as he was known to thousands in Western New York and the harness racing world, opened Buffalo Raceway here at the County Fairgrounds in Hamburg in 1942, following passage by the State Legislature of the pari-mutuel act sponsored by his father, the late State Senator John Dunnigan.

He operated the Hamburg oval for 25 years until 1967 when he sold it to devote his full time to the operation of the ill fated Phoenix Trotting Park which he had opened in 1965.

Five years later in 1972, he was basking in the glory of a smashing opening year of night time harness racing at Los Alamitos in Southern California and received the "Comeback of the Decade Award" from the U.S. Harness Horse Writers Association which had made him an honorary member in 1967. In 1974 he was elected to the USHWA Living Hall of Fame and a year later to the prestigious Hall of Fame of the Trotter at Goshen. N.Y. Mr. Dunnigan retired as board chairman at Los Alamitos in California.


This article originally appeared in The Sun and the Erie County Independent.