how many horse racing tracks are there in the us

There are approximately 106 horse racing tracks in the United States, distributed across different regions. These tracks vary in size, facilities, and frequency of races they host. Some tracks operate year-round, while others have specific racing seasons. Thoroughbred racing and harness racing are the two primary types of races held at these tracks. The sport of horse racing has a long and rich history in the US, with some tracks dating back to the 19th century.

Distribution of Horse Racing Tracks in the United States

The United States is home to a vast network of horse racing tracks, catering to the excitement and passion of racing enthusiasts across the country. From the iconic tracks of the Northeast to the sprawling facilities in the West, these tracks offer a diverse range of racing experiences, attracting both seasoned bettors and casual spectators alike.

  • Northeast: The Northeast region boasts some of the most prestigious and well-known horse racing tracks in the country. Saratoga Race Course in New York, renowned for its historic charm and summer meet, is a must-visit for racing fans. Other notable tracks include Belmont Park and Aqueduct Racetrack, both located in New York, as well as Pimlico Race Course in Maryland and Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
  • Southeast: The Southeast is home to a growing number of horse racing tracks, offering a mix of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse racing. Churchill Downs in Kentucky, the iconic home of the Kentucky Derby, is a legendary venue. Other tracks in the region include Gulfstream Park in Florida, Keeneland in Kentucky, and Oaklawn Park in Arkansas.
  • Midwest: The Midwest is a hub for harness racing, with numerous tracks dedicated to this exciting sport. Hoosier Park Racing & Casino in Indiana is a premier harness racing facility, while Northfield Park in Ohio and Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey also offer top-notch harness racing.
  • West: The Western United States is home to vast expanses of land, which has allowed for the development of sprawling horse racing tracks. Del Mar Racetrack in California, with its picturesque oceanfront setting, is a popular destination for racing and entertainment. Other notable tracks in the West include Santa Anita Park in California, Emerald Downs in Washington, and Los Alamitos Race Course in California.

The following table provides a summary of the number of horse racing tracks in each region of the United States:

RegionNumber of Tracks

Horse Racing Tracks in the US: A Regional Breakdown

Horse racing is a popular sport in the United States, with tracks scattered across the country. The number of tracks varies significantly by region, with some areas having a much higher concentration than others.

Regional Variations in Horse Racing Track Count

  • Northeast: The Northeast is home to a large number of horse racing tracks, with New York and Pennsylvania leading the way. Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, is one of the most famous tracks in the United States.
  • South: The South also has a significant number of horse racing tracks, with Kentucky being the heart of the industry. Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, is the home of the Kentucky Derby, one of the most prestigious horse races in the world.
  • Midwest: The Midwest has a smaller number of horse racing tracks compared to the Northeast and South. However, some notable tracks in the region include Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minnesota.
  • West: The West has a few major horse racing tracks, including Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California, and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in Del Mar, California.

In addition to the major tracks listed above, there are also a number of smaller tracks scattered across the United States. These tracks typically offer lower-stakes races and attract a smaller crowd.

Table of Horse Racing Tracks by Region

| Region | Number of Tracks | Notable Tracks |
| Northeast | 30+ | Saratoga Race Course, Belmont Park, Aqueduct Racetrack |
| South | 20+ | Churchill Downs, Keeneland, Gulfstream Park |
| Midwest | 10+ | Arlington Park, Canterbury Park, Prairie Meadows Racetrack |
| West | 5+ | Santa Anita Park, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Golden Gate Fields |

Historical Evolution of Horse Racing Tracks

Horse racing holds a deep-rooted history in the United States, with the first recorded races dating back to the colonial era. Over the centuries, horse racing tracks have emerged and evolved to accommodate the growing popularity and demand for this fast-paced and exhilarating sport.

Initially, horse races were held on informal courses or “race paths,” often established on open fields or along public roads. As the sport gained traction, dedicated racetracks began to appear across the country.

First Racetracks

  • The Union Course on Long Island, New York, is considered the first established racetrack in the United States, built in 1665.
  • Other early racetracks included the Newmarket Course in Suffolk, Virginia (1738) and the Philadelphia Racecourse in Pennsylvania (1751).

19th Century Expansion

  • The 19th century witnessed a significant expansion of horse racing tracks, driven by the popularity of Thoroughbred racing.
  • Tracks like Saratoga Race Course in New York (1864), Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky (1870), and Churchill Downs in Kentucky (1875) became iconic venues for the sport.

Modern Era

In the 20th and 21st centuries, horse racing continued to thrive, with the emergence of new tracks and the modernization of existing ones.

  • Tracks like Gulfstream Park in Florida (1930) and Santa Anita Park in California (1934) became major destinations for racing enthusiasts.
  • Advances in technology have also transformed the experience, with electronic betting systems and instant replays enhancing the excitement and convenience for spectators.

Today’s Horse Racing Landscape

Today, the United States boasts a diverse landscape of horse racing tracks, ranging from iconic thoroughbred tracks to harness racing venues. The industry provides entertainment, employment, and economic benefits to numerous communities across the country.

Top 10 Horse Racing Tracks in the US
1Churchill DownsLouisville, Kentucky
2Keeneland Race CourseLexington, Kentucky
3Saratoga Race CourseSaratoga Springs, New York
4Belmont ParkElmont, New York
5Santa Anita ParkArcadia, California
6Gulfstream ParkHallandale Beach, Florida
7Del Mar RacetrackDel Mar, California
8Pimlico Race CourseBaltimore, Maryland
9Aqueduct RacetrackOzone Park, New York
10Hollywood Park CasinoInglewood, California

Well, there you have it, folks! The number of horse racing tracks in the US may not be as many as in the golden days, but there’s still plenty of action to be had. Whether you’re a seasoned handicapper or just looking for a fun day out, these tracks offer an unforgettable experience. So next time you’re planning a trip, be sure to check out one of these historic venues. And thanks for reading! We’ll catch you next time with more horsing around.