Nothing quite compares to the excitement and adrenaline of a crowd at a live horse race track. And the host of over 25 annual horse racing events and championships, the United States is home to some of the world’s greatest racecourses. Every horse racing fan should enjoy thoroughbred racing in person if they are to truly understand why the it’s called ‘the sport of kings’. With our guide to the best horse racing tracks in the USA, you can.
1. Saratoga Race Course, New York
Boasting a rich and long history with horse racing, Saratoga’s country-like atmosphere means it’s a track all the family can enjoy. This turf and dirt racecourse has been graced by the hooves of legendary Man o’ War and Secretariat in its prolific past, as well as a cohort of famous celebrities who flock to the track for an action-packed afternoon. Attending this track means you could be rubbing shoulders with Josh Groban, actors Jonathan Goldsmith and Joe Pesci and former Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno. These are just a few celebrities who frequent Saratoga. Browse Saratoga’s race schedule for all upcoming events.
2. Arlington Park, Illinois
Arlington Park is home to one of the most magnificent grandstands of all US racecourses, which was rebuilt after a fire destroyed the original. But it was the host of the country’s first thoroughbred purse in 1981 worth $1 million (USD). Situated in the suburbs of Chicago, the fields of Arlington Park boast a good turf and an even better atmosphere. If you’re looking for the ultimate experience, why not reserve a table in Arlington Park’s Million Room and get the best view of the track.
3. Keeneland Race Course, Kentucky
The elegant and pristinely-manicured grounds of Keeneland Race Course should be on every horse race lovers list. A hub of thoroughbred excellence, Keeneland attracts some of the biggest audiences of all our top 10 racecourses. Get yourself down to the Spring Meet, one of the venue biggest events, and enjoy a drink at the Stone Clubhouse with George Clooney, a frequent attendee to Keeneland, making his first appearance 1982, just a few years before Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor. Discover more about the Keeneland racecourse now.
4. Churchill Downs, Kentucky
The host of prestigious Derby Day, Churchill Downs famous twin spires and 147 acres have long drawn audiences with its friendly and modern vibe. A short one and half hour drive from Keeneland Race Course means if timed correctly, you can visit both historic tracks meets within the same week.
One of the world’s most legendary race tracks, Churchill Downs literally rolls out a red carpet for the famous who attend its meets. Famed personalities who have visited the track include: former presidents Harry S. Truman and Lyndon Johnson, Hollywood royalty Jack Nicholson and Mohammed Ali, and even the Queen of England in 2007. Discover the Churchill Downs racing schedule to plan your trip, and if you enjoy horse racing memorabilia, a visit to the Kentucky Derby museum makes a worthwhile stop.
5. Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico
Running some of the most exhilarating Quarter horse races, New Mexico’s Ruidoso Downs is a Mecca for the Quarter horse set. Fringed by mountains, this race track’s biggest event is the All American Futurity, and with a purse of more than $3 million (USD) it is the richest of all Quarter Horse races.
6. Del Mar Race Track, California
Nothing encompasses Del Mar race track more than Bing Crosby “When the Surf Meets the Turf,” which is why they play it at the start of every day’s racing. The songs title is a reference to Del Mar’s proximity to, and a stone’s throw away from, the Pacific Ocean.
This iconic venue set a new US record in 1991 for its $1 million (USD) prize fun for the ‘Pacific Classic,’ and was the host of the Breeders’ Cup in 2017. Browse Del Mar’s race track schedule online, a trip here could mean meeting actor and television presenter Mario Lopez and actress Elizabeth Banks, just two of the tracks celebrity visitors.
7. Monmouth Park, New Jersey
Nestled in the wilds of suburban New Jersey, Monmouth Park, also known as “The Shore,” is one of the United States most historic tracks. While the stakes fail to rival that of west coast Del Mar, Monmouth Park still attracts audiences all year round for its long summer meet, its marquee event being the Haskell Invitational which was first run in 1968.
8. Belmont Park, Long Island, New York
While Belmont Park may not compete with the crowds at Churchill Downs or Saratoga, it’s stands can accommodate 50,000 visitors with ease. The stands often seat these numbers at the track’s biggest annual event, the final leg of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes. The Belmont Stakes is the biggest contributor of the racetrack’s $18.55 million (USD) turnover. Discover Belmont Parks upcoming races now.
9. Oaklawn Park, Arkansas
Head down to Oaklawn Parks Racing Festival of the South for a season of great stakes and plenty of races on tap. In 2008, Oaklawn Park started a $3 million casino-style expansion made up of poker tables, slot machines completed with an Instant Racing complex. And in 2013, Oaklawn Park ranked #7 of 65 North American thoroughbred racetracks by the Horseplayers Association of North America, so it should come as no surprise it makes our top 10.
10. San Anita Park, California
A favorite with all race horsing fanatics, San Anita Park is nestled into the magnificent San Gabriel Mountains and is teaming with spectators all year round. Listed in the 2006 National Register of Historic Places, San Anita Park has hosted iconic races featuring horses Seabiscuit and Man o’ War and legendary celebrity guests such as actresses Kristin Chenoweth and Elizabeth Banks. Discover San Anita race track 2018 schedule now.
While little compares to live horse racing and betting at all 10 of these majestic racecourses, enjoying the sport is not confined to the track. With the MyWinners Racing Hub you can keep up to date with the finest thoroughbreds online, and view the racing schedules for all the best US race tracks. Bet from anywhere with our mobile app, and benefit from our expert advice for betting online.