Top Horse Racing Tracks in New York the United States and the World Today.
Saratoga Race Course - Opened in 1863 and located in Saratoga Springs, NY, this horse racing track is the single oldest track in the United States. Many highly prestigious races are held there, but the most notable is the Travers Stakes, also the oldest major thoroughbred stakes race in the U.S. Saratoga Springs, New York Travers Stakes, or "Mid-Summer Derby," is the oldest thoroughbred horse race in America, and Saratoga Springs pays tribute to the historic event every year with a weekend-long festival called Travers Weekend. But if you can’t get here for the Saratoga Racetrack’s most famed stakes, you can still cheer on your picks at other races July 27th through September 7th, 2012. Its just by far the greatest laidback track for players or just a family outing. Nearby, you'll find Sarasota Gaming and Raceway, which has more laidback harness races and the Racino, a kid-friendly video game arcade. Sound fun? Its one of those places you have to visit, a must on your bucket list .
2. Churchill Downs - Located in Louisville, this track is home of the most famous thoroughbred race of them all, the Kentucky Derby. Opened in 1875, many of the greatest horses have competed there, including Citation, Secretariat, and Seattle Slew. You don’t have to be an expert on equestrian sports for the Kentucky Derby to ring a bell. Louisville hardly lets this special race go to waste, celebrating it with the two-week Kentucky Derby Festival. For the layman: the Kentucky Derby, held at the Churchill Downs every first Saturday in May, is the first leg of the United States Triple Crown.
Lots of records have been set and lots of traditions have begun at Churchill Downs. The standard two kilometer race and the rose garland that's placed around a wining horse’s neck all started here. And to this day, no one has topped jockey James Lee’s winning streak, another moment in history that happened at Churchill. If you're interested in cool trivia like this, don't pass up the Kentucky Derby Museum (located on-site).
Churchill Downs’ racing dates for 2009 are April 25th to July 5th, and November 1st to November 28th.
3. Belmont Park Race Park - Located just outside of New York City, Belmont Park is one of the most famous venues in racing today. Opened in 1905, it's the home of the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. Thoroughbreds also compete in the Jockey Club Gold Cup as well as the Metropolitan Handicap. It's 1.5 mile dirt track is the largest in North America. Secretariat's 31 length victory in the 1973 Belmont stakes still stands as a world-record, and a statue of the Triple Crown winner stands in the paddock.
4. Santa Anita Park - The oldest thoroughbred racing track in California. Opened Christmas Day, 1934. Many big races are held here, but the Santa Anita Handicap, or "Big Cap", is the most prestigious. First run in 1935 with a then-record $100,000 purse, 1938 Horse of the Year Seabiscuit returned from injury to win the 1940 Big Cap in record time.
5. The Fairgrounds - Located in New Orleans, this track has been hosting thoroughbred horse racing since 1853. The most prestigious race held there is the Grade 2 Louisiana Derby.
6. Gulfstream Park - Opened February, 1939 in Hallandale Beach, Florida. This thoroughbred horse racing track hosts the Florida Derby, an important Kentucky Derby prep race, and the Donn Handicap. Hosted the Breeders' Cup in 1989, 1992, and 1999.
7. Lone Star - Located in Grand Prairie, Texas, Lone Star Park is the new kid on the block in the world of thoroughbred racing. Opened in 1997, the track was the host of the Breeders' Cup in 2004. Each Memorial Day Lone Star hosts Lone Star Million Day, featuring seven stakes races worth over $1 million. Among the higher profile races held there are the Grade 3 Lone Star Park Handicap, Texas Mile Stakes, and Lone Star Derby.
8. Pimlico - Opened in 1870 and located in Baltimore, Maryland, Pimlico hosts the 2nd jewel in the Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes. The famous 1938 match race in which Seabiscuit defeated War Admiral was held at Pimlico.
Aqueduct - New York Resorts Casino Opened 1894 in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, New York and rebuilt in 1959. Jockey Club Gold Cup held there from 1958-74. Only triple dead heat in stakes history occurred there in 1944 as horses Brownie, Bossuet, and Wait A Bit all reached the wire simultaneously. Hosted 2nd Breeders' Cup in 1985, but currently no major thoroughbred horse races held there.
Tampa Bay Downs - Located in Tampa, Florida, this track was opened in 1926 and has also been known as Tampa Downs and Florida Downs. Horses can compete in the Sam F. Davis Stakes, an official Kentucky Derby prep race. The Grade 3 Tampa Bay Derby is also run there.
Arlington Park - This race track is located in Arlington Heights, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. Opened in 1926, Arlington has a rich horse racing history, including the first electric starting gate, and the first race to feature a purse of $1 million in 1981. Dr. Fager's world-record mile was set there in 1968. Home to the Arlington Million and the Secretariat Stakes.
Del Mar Race Track - Opened in 1937 and located in Del Mar, 20 miles north of San Diego, this race track was once known as the "Saratoga of the West". Many prestigious horse races are held here, but the Grade 1 Pacific Classic Stakes is probably the most well known. The famous match race between Seabiscuit and Ligaroti took place at Del Mar in 1938, with the Biscuit winning.
Hollywood Park - Opened in 1938 in Inglewood, this track has hosted some all-time great thoroughbreds, including Swaps, Citation, and Affirmed. A new era in horse racing began in 1984 when Hollywood Park hosted the inaugural Breeders' Cup, and returned in 1987 and 1997. The prestigious Hollywood Gold Cup is the highest profile race held there.
14. Keeneleand Racetrack - Opened in 1936, this Lexington, Kentucky, track is most notable for it's Blue Grass Stakes, a famous Kentucky Derby prep race.
15. Belmont Park - Located just outside of New York City, Belmont Park is one of the most famous venues in racing today. Opened in 1905, it's the home of the third and final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. Thoroughbreds also compete in the Jockey Club Gold Cup as well as the Metropolitan Handicap. It's 1.5 mile dirt track is the largest in North America. Secretariat's 31 length victory in the 1973 Belmont stakes still stands as a world-record, and a statue of the Triple Crown winner stands in the paddock.
Turfway Park - Opened in 1959, this thoroughbred horse race track was the first track in the U.S. to install the synthetic Polytrack surface. The highlight of their season is the Kentucky Cup Day of Champions held in mid-September, which boasts a full day of Breeders' Cup prep races, highlighted by the Kentucky Cup Classic.
17. Philadelphia Park - This race track opened in 1974. Originally called Keystone Racetrack, it's current name was adopted in 1984. Each Labor Day this track hosts the most prestigious thoroughbred horse race in the state, the Pennsylvania Derby. Famous horses such as Smarty Jones have run, and won, races at Philadelphia Park.
Turf Paradise - Situated near Phoenix, Arizona, this track opened in early 1956. Home to several graded quarter horse races, this track is track is the home to the Arizona Breeders' Futurity, which features races for colts, geldings, and fillies.
Monmouth Park - This track has a long and storied history. Opened and and then closed in the late 1800's because New Jersey outlawed betting on horse racing, it wasn't reopened until 1946 after the state legalized betting again. Located in Ocean Port, Monmouth hosts the Haskell Invitational Handicap each August. The Jersey Derby is also run at Monmouth. In 2007 the Breeders' Cup was hosted by Monmouth, with Horse of the Year Curlin winning the main event Breeders' Cup Classic.
20. Calder Race Course - Located in Miami Gardens, Florida, this thoroughbred race track was where jockey Eddie Castro won a record 9 races in a single day in 2005. Many graded stakes races are held there, with the highlight being the Princess Rooney Handicap. Opened in May, 1971.
Oaklawn Park - Opened in the early 1900s, this thoroughbred track hosted racing on and off again before finally settling into a regular schedule in 1934. The Grade 1 Arkansas Derby is the track's most prestigious event. Smarty Jones, Curlin, and many other champion horses have visited the winner's circle at Oaklawn Park.
Santa Anita - The oldest thoroughbred racing track in California. Opened Christmas Day, 1934. Many big races are held here, but the Santa Anita Handicap, or "Big Cap", is the most prestigious. First run in 1935 with a then-record $100,000 purse, 1938 Horse of the Year Seabiscuit returned from injury to win the 1940 Big Cap in record time.
Bay Meadows - Located in the San Francisco Bay Area (San Mateo), this track is rich in tradition. Pari-mutuel betting, an all-enclosed starting gate, and the first photo finish camera were all introduced at Bay Meadows. Horses have raced there since 1934, making it the longest continually running thoroughbred venue in California.
Meadowlands - This East Rutherford, New Jersey racetrack first hosted thoroughbred horse racing in early September 1977. Most racing is held at night at this track, making it unique among most thoroughbred racing venues.
Hawthorne - This horse track is located in Cicero, Illinois, just outside of Chicago. Opened in 1891 and closed several times before settling into continuous action since 1922. This track ranks behind Arlington Park on the Chicago racing scene, but does host the Grade 2 Illinois Derby.
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