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Top Horse Racing Venues in the US

Added on: Dec. 14, 2015

Horse racing in the United States has its roots dating as far back as 1665 when the Newmarket course in Salisbury, New York, first established. This particular section is now known as the Hempstead Plains of Long Island, New York. The first major horse racing event in North America was managed and overseen by the first English colonial governor of New York province, Richard Nicolls.

Let’s take a look at some of the major racetracks in the US, starting with the oldest. This was the Freehold Raceway in Freehold, New Jersey, which first opened in the 1830s. Fair Grounds in New Orleans, Louisiana, then opened in 1852. Then there was Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, which opened in 1863.

Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, opened in 1870. Monmouth Park Racetrack in Oceanport, New Jersey, also opened in the same year and then five years later, Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, opened in 1875. The next major venue, the Aqueduct Racetrack, which is in the Ozone Park neighbourhood of Queens, New York, opened in 1894.

Before the turn of the new century, Yonkers Raceway in the New York City suburb of Yonkers, New York, opened in 1899. The next major venue to open was Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Arkansas, which first opened back in 1904. Then there was Belmont Park which is in Elmont, New York (just outside New York City on Long Island). This venue first opened its doors in 1905.

It was another two decades before the next major venue established. Fairmount Park Racetrack in the St. Louis suburb of Collinsville, Illinois, first opened in 1925. Also in this same year, Hialeah Park Race Track in Hialeah, Florida, near Miami opened. Just two years later, in 1927, Arlington Park in the Chicago suburb of Arlington Heights, Illinois, first opened.

Then in 1934, in the San Gabriel Valley community of Arcadia, California, near Los Angeles, the famous Santa Anita Park opened. The following year in East Boston, Massachusetts, the Suffolk Downs Race Track opened and then in 1936 the Keeneland Race Course opened in Lexington, Kentucky. The next major venue to open was in 1937 when the Del Mar Racetrack in the San Diego suburb of Del Mar, California, was first established and then in 1938, the Hollywood Park Racetrack in Los Angeles suburb Inglewood, California, first opened.