Racetrack Higgins

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Name: "Racetrack" Higgins
Occupation: newsboy
Fandom: Newsies
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Racetrack Higgins, also called Racer or Race, is a Manhattan newsboy in Newsies.


In an early draft of the film, Race was noted as being eighteen. According to his trading card, he is an orphan. He is a known gambler, named for his time at the Sheephead Races, and a flirt (with both women and men).[1]


Racetrack's character was inspired by a prominent participator in the 1899 newsboys' strike, Ed "Race Track" Higgins, though his name was not discovered by the fandom until recently.[2] He was a leader of the Brooklyn newsboys' union[3] and took a major role after Kid Blink was disgraced. He is well-documented as a lover of horses.[4]


Race has been a fan favorite for a long time, outranked only by Spot Conlon.[5]

In 2017, a popular newsboys history Tumblr blog, newsboys-of-1899, made a post commenting on the possibility that Racetrack Higgins and Spot Conlon were the same person, which started a popular rumor that this was fact, despite its unlikelihood.[6]


Like many Newsies characters, Racetrack does not have a canon first name. Despite this, he is almost universally called Anthony, Antonio, Antony, or Tony in fanfiction.[7] This trend traces back to the early presence of the online Newsies fandom.

The first known work to use Anthony was first archived in January 1999, "Race's Secret," hosted at The Printing Press.[8] In September 1999, "The Birth of the Gambler" was published to Fanfiction.net, making it the oldest to use the name on the site. The name continued to be used on both FFN and personal sites, as well as some popular fandom archives.[9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17] "Barely Even Friends," a work from circa 1999 in a series focusing on Race, features an Italian restaurant named Antonio's.[18] Most of the early uses of Tony may have been in 2001,[19][20] but it appeared occasionally in 1999.[21][16][22][23] In 2003, the highly-praised work "Everything You've Done Wrong" called Race "Tony"[24] and is cited by some fans as the origin of both Anthony/Antonio/Antony and the name Sean for Spot Conlon.[25] A LiveJournal user made a list of "real names" for newsies and listed Racetrack's as Anthony Higgins in 2004[26] and popular fic writer queenitsy also used the name.[27][28][29] The earliest known usage of Antonio was in 2005[30] and Antony was introduced in 2006.[31] The extremely popular "How I Spent My Summer Vacation," posted starting in 2006, used the name Anthony for Race, as listed on the character page[32] and introduced in the seventh chapter,[33] as well as the nickname Tony beginning in chapter nineteen.[34]


Racetrack is commonly written as Italian, primarily due to his film actor, Max Casella, being Italian on his mother's side[35] and stage actor Ben Cook is also thought to be Italian.[36] While less known, the early film draft known as Hard Promises describes Racetrack as a "tall, skinny, gambling Italian beanpole."[37] "How I Spent My Summer Vacation" introduces Race as an "Italian kid."[38] Race's surname, Higgins, is a point of contention in regards to his Italian background.


Race is often interpreted as having ADHD. His Newsiepedia bio highlights impulsive gambling, stimming with a cigar, and instances of quick distraction.


Example Fanworks


Fannish Links


  1. ^ Newsiepedia
  2. ^ The legal name of Race Track Higgins appears to have been Ed Higgins. by newsboys-of-1899 on Tumblr (2018)
  3. ^ Newsies Wiki
  4. ^ Who was Race Track Higgins? by newsboys-of-1899 on Tumblr (2017)
  5. ^ Your Favorite Newsie poll on The Newsies Inferno (2004)
  6. ^ On Spot Conlon and Race Track Higgins by newsboys-of-1899 on Tumblr (2017)
  7. ^ Racetrack Higgins tag on AO3, with synonyms including Anthony "Racetrack" Higgins, Anthony Higgins, and Antionio Higgins
  8. ^ Race's Secret by Dragon at The Printing Press, from an archive when the site was last updated in January 1999
  9. ^ To Peek Behind the Headlines by Grace at Grace's "Newsies" Fan Fiction Page! (1999)
  10. ^ The Birth of the Gambler by Sassy on Fanfiction.net (1999)
  11. ^ Story List including The Birth of the Gambler on Brooklyn Lodging House, archived 2002
  12. ^ Transcendence by Kendall (archived 2001)
  13. ^ Double or Nothing by Spitfire at So Ya Wanna Be A Newsie, Huh? (1999)
  14. ^ Play Me a Song by Gank on Kendall's Newsies Page (2001)
  15. ^ Racetrack roleplay bio at Central Park Lodging House (archived 2002)
  16. ^ a b Racetrack's Story by Skittery and Samantha at The Newsie Fan Fiction Collection (1999)
  17. ^ Movie Characters on The Newsgirls' Master List (2000)
  18. ^ Barely Even Friends by Christy, hosted at Bottle Alley: Newsies Fan Fiction, 1999, archived 2014
  19. ^ Life's A Bet by Kendall at Kendall's Newsies Page (archived 2001)
  20. ^ LightFooted by Firecat at Kendall's Newsies Page (2001)
  21. ^ Race's Brother by Racetrack and RiffNTommy at The Newsie Fan Fiction Collection (1999)
  22. ^ Not Like Us by Christy at Bottle Alley: Newsies Fan Fiction (1999)
  23. ^ Just Beneath the Surface by Annie aka Bluey at Racetrack's Newsie Page (2001)
  24. ^ Everything You've Done Wrong by sloanne on Fanfiction.net (2003)
  25. ^ Okay, where did “Race is Italian” come from? by so0tings on Tumblr, reblogs by timetogoslumming and letter-from-the-refuge (2021)
  26. ^ Newsies Names by sharps on LiveJournal (2005)
  27. ^ Where Were You When The Lights Went Out? Racetrack: Denial by queenitsy (2004)
  28. ^ Newsies: Now And Forever by RosieRed on FFN (2004) is another example that I found on a rec list
  29. ^ In Every Generation by kerrypolka was posted on the newsies100 LiveJournal community in 2004 and got two comments
  30. ^ Allergy Season on The Refuge, via Wayback Machine, unknown author, I can't remember where I found that year but it was before the site went down
  31. ^ Freedom by Marauding Newsies on Fanfiction.net (2006)
  32. ^ Character List
  33. ^ Chapter Seven: Sibling Rivalry
  34. ^ Chapter Nineteen: At The Hop
  35. ^ Okay, where did "Race is Italian" come from? by so0tings, reblog by timetogoslumming (2021)
  36. ^ Okay, where did "Race is Italian" come from? by so0tings, reblog by dontloseurheadbestie (2021)
  37. ^ Newsies Original Script, hosted on Geocities
  38. ^ Chapter Two: The Rest Of the Day, and Some Of the Night