Queer Places:
Calvary Cemetery, 4201 Whittier Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023

Carleton F. Burke (December 10, 1882 – July 29, 1962) was the first chairman of the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) and  later served as the Director of Racing at Santa Anita Park.

Burke was the vicepresident in charge of racing at Santa Anita Park, which he helped mould into one of the world's prominent Thoroughbred racing centers. Burke served as the first chairman of the California Horse Racing Board in 1933 after the legalization of pari mutuel wagering and was chiefly responsible for establishing the extremely high standards which have governed horse race licensing and operations in California since then. He served in the chairmanship until 1939, and he moved to Santa Anita in 1940 as an associate steward. Later, he became presiding steward, then director of racing and in 1959 assumed the title of vice president in charge of racing. He was one of the founders of the California Thoroughbred Breeders' Assnciation. whose headquarters were situated in Arcadia, and served on its board of directors. He served as vire president of the Thoroughbred Racing Association of the United States from 1945 in 1959; was a trustee of the National Museum of Racing at Saratoga since 1955; a director of the Union Bank of Los Angeles since 1929; former Pacific Coast chairman of the American Polo Association; former president a the U.S. Remount Association and a former trustee of the American Thoroughbred Breeder Association. Inc. 

Carleton Burke was a glad-handing, gregarious polo player who lived with his sister in the affluent Berkeley Square section of Los Angeles.

At fifty years old he married Myrtle Wood Hook. They had no children. Various members of George Cukor’s circle recalled Burke as gay. He was also friendly with Tim Durant, Spencer Tracy’s close friend.

The Carleton F. Burke Handicap is an American Thoroughbred horse race run annually at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. Raced in late October as part of the Oak Tree Racing Association series, it is open to horses age three and older and is contested on turf at a distance of one-and-one-half miles (twelve furlongs).


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/queerplaces/images/Carleton_F._Burke_Handicap
  2. Mann, William J.. Kate: The Woman Who Was Hepburn (p. 158). Henry Holt and Co.. Kindle Edition.