May 22, 2018

Cronley, horse racing columnist and author, dies at 73

Jay Cronley 1943-2017 (Tulsa World photo)

Jay Cronley, a former columnist for the Tulsa newspapers whose interest in horse racing resulted in a novel, Good Vibes, that was later adapted into the 1989 comedy film “Let it Ride” starring Richard Dreyfuss, reportedly died Sunday at the age of 73.

Although not a box office success, “Let it Ride” was one of the rare Hollywood features set at a racetrack, with Hialeah Park used as a filming location and legendary announcer Trevor Denman providing voiceover. Dreyfuss played Jay Trotter, a down-on-his-luck horseplayer cabbie who vows to give up playing the horses for the sake of his marriage, but finally finds lady luck one particular afternoon parlaying his winnings into a small fortune.

Jennifer Tilly at the Kentucky Derby (HorsePhotos/Bob Newell)

In addition to Academy Award-winner Dreyfuss, the ensemble cast included David Johansen, Teri Garr, Jennifer Tilly, Michelle Phillips, Cynthia Nixon, and Robbie Coltrane.

Cronley, whose comedic novels Quick Change and Funny Farm were also made into motion pictures, also wrote a horse racing column for


3 Comments on Cronley, horse racing columnist and author, dies at 73

  1. LOVE Letit Ride, have watched it a bunch of times. Really hit some TB betting personalitis right on the head. Funny Farm is another favorite movie. Will be reading his books.

  2. A great comic writer whose novels are very entertaining. Let It Ride, a great film that went unrewarded by an insipid, ungrateful nation, also introduced us to the great acting talent of Robbie Coltrane. RIP Jay, I’ll miss your snarling, “FY” & “UYs” emails. Same to you, pal!

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