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″Gamblin Rose” Hamburger, New York Post Handicapper, Dead at 105

August 7, 1996

NEW YORK (AP) _ Rose Hamburger, who sold real estate up to the age of 100 and then found a new career as New York Post handicapper ``Gamblin’ Rose,″ died Tuesday in St. Vincent’s Hospital. She was 105.

Hamburger had been hospitalized because of pneumonia for the last week, said her daughter, Nancy Sureck.

The Post had hired Hamburger in December to handicap thoroughbred races.

``The New York Post really gave her a boost in the last year,″ Sureck said.

Hamburger told The Associated Press in March, ``I love horses and, I guess, the drama of watching the race. I saw the great Secretariat at the Preakness in 1973. And I saw Man O’ War there in 1920.″

In fact, Hamburger saw every Preakness from 1915 through 1988.

Born Dec. 29, 1890, on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, she became the youngest graduate of Hunter College at age 19. At the time of her death, she was the college’s oldest living graduate.

After college, she spent a few months visiting Europe, then moved to Baltimore, where she married and had children. In 1938, she became the first woman licensed as a real estate agent in Maryland. She retired at age 100.

She moved back to New York in 1975 and made herself at home on the Aqueduct home stretch. There, she became such a revered figure that her birthday three years ago was honored with its own race: the Happy 102nd Rose.

Her fame as a Post handicapper led to an appearance on the ``Late Show with David Letterman.″

Hamburger said her picks were quick ones. ``Five minutes,″ she revealed. ``I look at the owner, the jockey, the speed and the number of wins. That’s it.″

The Greenwich Village resident was partial to bright red nail polish, flashy dresses and stovepipe hats.

She attributed her longevity to ``working and regular living.″

``I have a great way to go yet,″ she told the AP last December.

In addition to Sureck, Hamburger is survived by another daughter, Caryl Goldsmith, and three granddaughters. Her husband, Mark Hamburger, died in 1955.

Funeral services are scheduled for Friday in Baltimore.

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