Batavia Downs: Joseph R. Carrubba, 60, dies

Written by on October 26, 2018

(Photo is Joe Carrubba with Slickster 1982)

Press Release:

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

Joseph R. Carrubba, 60, of Oakfield, died Oct. 24, 2018 at Rochester General Hospital following a lengthy illness. He was born June 11, 1958, in Batavia, the son of the late Samuel and Patricia (Geitner) Carrubba.

Mr. Carrubba was born into a harness racing family as his father Sam raced a stable at Batavia Downs. He got his first driver’s license at age seventeen and made his first pari-mutuel starts in 1977. His brother Chris would also start to drive shortly after and it wasn’t long before they both competed on the track regularly.

For 39 years, Mr. Carrubba was a regular on the Western New York circuit along with occasionally shipping to race at other tracks in the state. Some of his early driving success and notoriety came while teaming pacers The Butler GB and Slickster, who both had a run of success in the early 1980’s. He later went on to own, train or drive such horses as High Sticker, Pelham Midnight, Nialoma, Patty Spencer, Billy Yards, Red Whiz, Valley Duke, Wanna Rock N Roll and Sportsmuffler.

Mr. Carrubba drove 223 career winners that earned $471,346 in purses. Turning mostly to training later in his career, he also conditioned another 229 victors who bankrolled $700,178 as well.

Whether at the race track or away from racing, Mr. Carrubba always had a wonderful sense of humor and a deep love of his family.

Surviving are his children, Michael (Amanda Benson) Carrubba, Erik Carrubba and Tiffany Carrubba; siblings, Christopher Carrubba, Mary (Denny) Bucceri, Rose (Steven Kiblin) Campbell and Georgeann Carrubba along with many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews and cousins.

The Carrubba family will be present from 1 to 5 p.m. on Sunday Oct. 28, 2018 at the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, 4120 West Main Street Road Batavia, New York 14020 where a Service of Remembrance will begin at 5 p.m. Mr. Carrubba will be laid to rest in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Batavia, NY. In lieu of flowers, memorials in his memory are suggested to the family.

Please share your words of comfort with Mr. Carrubba’s family at


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