Cornacchia, co-owner of Kentucky Derby winners Strike the Gold and Go For Gin,
and a former member of The New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) Board of
Directors, passed away on Sunday at the age of 78.
Born and raised in Queens,
New York, Cornacchia made his
mark in the board game industry as the manufacturer of Trivial Pursuit and
President and Founder of The Games Gang, which brought the world Pictionary and
He partnered with B. Giles Brophy and William Condren to buy Strike the
Gold as a 2-year-old in 1990, and found himself in the Churchill Downs
winner’s circle a year later. Cornacchia and Condren repeated the Derby feat in 1994 with
Go For Gin, and also teamed up to win the 1996 Preakness with Louis Quatorze,
who went on to win the Jim Dandy later that year at Saratoga Race Course.
Cornacchia, a second generation printer for 30 years in the East
Village of Manhattan, was appointed to the NYRA Board in September 1998 by New
York Governor George Pataki and served through September 2008.
“Joe Cornacchia was a thoughtful and caring man who had a deep
love for horse racing,” said NYRA Chairman C. Steven Duncker. “He
had incredible business acumen, which he displayed in both the board game
industry and in winning three prestigious Triple Crown races. His presence at
the racetrack will be sorely missed.”
Cornacchia was also a board member of Good Shepard Services, which
provides housing and education for young people in New York.
He is best remembered around the race track for his dapper fashion
sense and his unfailingly kind disposition. His passions beyond racing included
boating, golf (he had two holes-in-one to his credit) and family.
Cornacchia is survived by his wife Eileen, sons Jim and Brian, stepson
Ryan, daughter-in-law Amanda and grandchildren Colin and Caitlin.
Arrangements for the wake and funeral services are as
Wednesday, June 29th: 7 – 9 p.m.
Thursday, June 30th: 2 – 4 p.m., 7 – 9 p.m.
Follett & Werner Funeral Home
60 Mill Road
Friday, July 1st: 10:30 a.m.
580 Main St.