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In search of: elusive racing photographs taken in Cuba.

 
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 8:19 am    Post subject: In search of: elusive racing photographs taken in Cuba. Reply with quote

Hello Everyone,
From 1937 to 1942, my father won approximately 32 races with his race horses at the former and defunct Oriental Park Racetrack located in Marianao, Cuba. Unfortunately, he did not have any of the win photographs taken of his winners. I can not understand why.
I have tried in vain to reach some of the former horseman who once rode or trained horses at Oriental, hoping that they may be of help in locating at least one copy. Sometimes copies were given to the jockeys. I can only hope that some of them made it out of Cuba prior to 1959 and that their families still retain the copies. I suspect that the original win photo negatives were destroyed in 1959.
I have had a request flyer posted at the Racetrack in Tampa and that is the sum of my success; otherwise, I have received the silent treatment. One researcher going to Cuba, volunteered and promised to make some discreet inquiries with his contacts in Cuba; however, he said that he forgot.

I was bluntly told by one racetrack official of Spanish descent, that unless one speaks Spanish, the oldtimers who raced at Oriental are reluctant to be interviewed and answer in English.

I can only hope that the Asturian community living in Florida might have a suggestion as to where I might search. I am willing to pay $150.00 for a copy of Azabache which won the Riverside Handicap in Cuba for Dad on January 13, 1940, provided my father is pictured in the photograph.

Manuell Alvarez a.k.a. Manolito
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Raquel M



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 2:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi!
I think you must look at the University of Miami library, they have one
of the biggest collection of photos, newspapers, books from Cuba, so
they can help you, you can find the site online and start the search.
It is the Cuban Heritage Collection....I am going to put the link
but you can also go to Google and type Oriental Park Racetrack
Marianao Cuba......and then you can see all the links and information.

http://merrick.library.miami.edu/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=exact&CISOFIELD1=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOROOT=/cubanphotos&CISOBOX1=Hip%C3%B3dromo+Oriental+Park+(Marianao%2C+Cuba)

Yes, it is true, people in Cuba are afraid to talk, even more afraid
if you ask in English...for the Cuban government, everybody is a
CIA' member!!! the government is always blaming the USA and the
CIA!!! omg!!! communism is a disgrace!
Good luck, Raquel
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Raquel M



Joined: 30 Jan 2009
Posts: 608
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.cubacollectibles.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=SFNT&Store_Code=C&AFFIL=0j4Io5q9

this is a link for a Cuba memorabilia, they have books, photos, etc
also, you can look at ebay....yes, ebay has everything, just write
the different names and Cuba and you find everything....the europeans
( I don't want to blame just one nation) are selling everything from Cuba
in ebay, the most incredible things....it makes me sad...to know that people
are selling their family' memories to foreigners in order to buy food...

You can take a look at

www.Cubagenweb.org you may find something there

My husband also wanted a photo of his grandparents....he found a cousin
that had one, this cousin gave the photo to another cousin that was traveling
to another city in Cuba and she could make the copy of the photo there....
she went in a bus.....somebody stole her purse....the photo was inside that
purse....may be in a few months somebody will sell that photo on ebay...
it's something very sad.
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2011 5:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Raquel,

Thank you for the reply and some possible source information. I will take a look. I will not purchase someone's family history. Especially, people who are already vulnerable. I know that they probably received very little for their precious keepsakes. I am sad that they are being taken advantage of in these tough times. The going price locally is $25.00 and I will go higher for Azabache that won for Dad in 1940, provided that he is in the photo.

All I would like are the win photographs of my father's horses that won at oriental Park between the years of 1937 to 1952. I would; however, wish that someone in Cuba who is in dire straights and possess these photos would be the beneficiary of the entire purchase price. I have seen several win photos from Oriental Park on ebay in the past for horses that were racing when Dad was there.

I was hoping that some of the Cuban jockeys that made it out of Cuba might have been given a copy and that I could negotiate with their families for a copy if they do not want to part with the original.

Unfortunately, I can not determine how someone on ebay obtained the photo/s and I will probably refraim from purchasing there since I do not use a credit card. If my father is not in the photo, I won't purchase anyway.

The Tampa Bay Downs Track did post a copy of my photo request, but I did not receive any calls.

We have one lady on the forum who will return family items that she finds at yard and garage sales which I think is very admirable.

Tu Amigo,

Manny
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Manuell Alvarez



Joined: 14 Jun 2011
Posts: 219

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2011 8:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saddly, I am now faced with the reality that I will never get to find the photographs or visit Havana, where the Cuban people helped my dad become a successful international horse trainer.

Long gone are my father and his memories of a happy Cuba; however, the sun still rises over Havana, holding out hope and faith in tomorrow.

My dreams of visiting the mountains and villages of Asturias of my family are not to be either.
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