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A Look at Some of the Major US Racecourses

Added on: May 31, 2016

There are lots of major US racetracks/racecourses and some have been around since the 1830s. Freehold Raceway in Freehold, New Jersey, is one of the oldest major racetracks which first opened in the 1830s. Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana, is the next oldest major us racecourse and this opened in 1852.

We then have Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, which came along in 1863 and then there was Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, which first opened in 1870. Another major US horse racing venue which also opened in this same year was Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey.

Next to open was Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, and the first race held here was in 1875. This venue is home to the famous Kentucky Derby. In 1894 was the first ever race at the Aqueduct Racetrack in the Ozone Park neighborhood of Queens, New York. The next venue to open was Yonkers Raceway in the New York City suburb of Yonkers, New York, in 1899.

It was another five years before the next major venue opened which was Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas in 1904. The following year saw Belmont Park in Elmont, New York (which is just outside New York City on Long Island) first open its doors. Then two decades later, in 1925, Fairmount Park Racetrack in the St. Louis suburb of Collinsville, Illinois, first opened.

Also in this same year the Hialeah Park Race Track in Hialeah, Florida, near Miami, opening for the first time and then Arlington Park in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, Illinois, opened in 1927. Santa Anita Park in the San Gabriel Valley community of Arcadia, California, near Los Angeles, opened in 1934 and then the following year it was Suffolk Downs Race Track in East Boston, Massachusetts which had its first ever race.

Keeneland Race Course in Lexington, Kentucky, first opened in 1936. Del Mar Racetrack in the San Diego suburb of Del Mar, California, opened in 1937 and the next oldest and most famous US racetracks is Hollywood Park Racetrack in Los Angeles suburb Inglewood, California, which first opened in 1938.

According to the history books, horse racing in the United States dates back as far as 1665 and it was here in Salisbury, New York, where the Newmarket course was established. This particular area is actually known as he Hempstead Plains of Long Island, New York.