Joseph Carrubba, 60, dies

Batavia, NY — Joseph R. Carrubba, 60, of Oakfield, N.Y., 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 17 and made his first pari-mutuel start 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 1980s. He later went on to own, train or drive such horses as High Sticker, Pelham Midnight, Nialoma, Patty Spencer, Billy Yards, Red Whiz, 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.

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), Erik and Tiffany; siblings, Christopher, Mary (Denny) Bucceri, Rose (Steven Kiblin) Campbell and Georgeann; along with many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and cousins.

The Carrubba family will be present from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday (Oct. 28) at the Michael S. Tomaszewski Funeral & Cremation Chapel, 4120 West Main Street Road, Batavia, NY 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, N.Y.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in his memory are suggested to the family.

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


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