Hundreds sign petition to preserve last piece of legendary Garden State Park Racetrack

An online petition to preserve the last remaining piece of the once legendary Garden State Park racetrack in Cherry Hill now has hundreds of signatures.

The racetrack was built in 1942 and the only part of it that remains is the original gatehouse on Route 70 and Garden Park Boulevard.

Dan Cirucci started the petition fearing the site was at risk of redevelopment, considering it’s in the heart of retail and shopping in Cherry Hill.

"It was renowned really all over the world, and thousands and thousands of people passed through this gate," said Cirucci. "Some of the great thoroughbred horses raised here were Kentucky Derby winners. It is the only thing that’s left of what I called the gilded age of Cherry Hill, the glory days. To go out at night, dress up, to enjoy life and they came here to the races. It was just a marvelous time."

Mayor David Fleisher of Cherry Hill Township said the property is currently zoned for commercial use, but he fully plans on making sure the gatehouse remains protected. 


"For the potential owners, each one has heard when they come to the Township that it’s nonnegotiable. We’re going to make sure it’s preserved and protected. Any potential development would require a site plan approval, and we certainly have some ability to restrict development in that regard," said Mayor Fleisher. "Everything to potential subdivision of the land for the Township, potentially the Township and the County to assume that property."

In fact, Camden County Commissioner Jeff Nash has personal memories attached to this once thriving racetrack.

"This gate is really the last part of an important part of Cherry Hill history, Camden County history. I have great memories of being with my dad at this venue and little did I know that I would end up being a resident of Cherry Hill," said Nash. "The gate represents our history, and it’s important that we preserve our history because people should know from where they came."

The online petition was launched in February and has nearly a thousand signatures as of May 22.