Where Are the Best Places to See Horse Racing in Florida?

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Where Are the Best Places to See Horse Racing in Florida? 1


Florida is one of the most important horse racing centers in the country, with numerous events happening in the state.

However, which racetrack should you visit if you want to see an exciting, high-profile race here?

Gulfstream Park 

This complex includes a racetrack as well as a casino. It is located at Hallendale Beach and hosts many important races throughout the year. Gulfstream Park has been operating since 1939, with 18,000 spectators turning up for the first-ever day of races. 

Among the best-known races held here, the Florida Derby has been going since 1952 and it is scheduled for five weeks before the Kentucky Derby each year. 

Another big event in the American horse racing calendar is the Gulfstream Park Mile Stakes, which takes place in March and has been a fixture in the racing calendar since 1946.

A number of world record times have been set here over the years, such as the mile record set by Swaps in 1955. Another memorable year in the history of this venue came in 1989, when it first hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Championships and crowds witnessed the tight battle between Sunday Silence and Easy Goer.  

Tampa Bay Downs

In the case of this horse racing venue in Westchase, its history goes all the way back to 1926, although it has changed name a few times since then. Races are run here from November through to May, with Wednesday, Fridays and weekends the days when you are going to catch some action.

The main track at Tampa Bay Downs is a mile long and in the form of an oval. This is a dirt track, but there is also a turf track that is seven furlongs in length. The first race to be competed for on the new grass section was the 1998 Kentucky Derby.

The Tampa Bay Derby saw the venue’s top attendance in 2008, when close to 13,000 spectators visited the track for the popular Festival Day. The Hillsborough Stakes is another big race held here on Festival Day. As well as thoroughbred horse races, this venue also hosts poker games and even has a golf facility. 

Where Are the Best Places to See Horse Racing in Florida? 2

Hialeah Park Race Track

This famous venue’s best days may be behind it, but there is no doubt that it is still a fascinating place to visit. It opened in 1922 and during its glory years attracted all sort of celebrities and political leaders to watch races here. The Flamingo Stakes was arguably the top race held at this venue, and the name comes from the great quantity of those birds that lived here.

Racing events ended at the start of this century, and Cheeky Miss won the final race to be run, in 2001, before the doors were closed and their license to hold meets was withdrawn. In recent years, it has become best known for its casino, but Quarter Horse races are also still held here during the winter season and players can bet on simulcast races too. A visit to Hialeah may feel more like a trip back in time rather than a visit to a currently thriving horse racing venue. 

Yet, there is still talk of the venue possibly receiving a major upgrade that would once again make it one of the country’s top places to see some horse racing. For the moment, the historic feel makes this an interesting tourist attraction but we need to wait to see what the future hold in store for it.

Florida remains a terrific place to see some of the best horses in the US compete in a unique setting. 

The variety of venues and the different markets that they cater for mean that there is something for everyone to enjoy.  And if you enjoy horse racing betting go to TwinSpires and use their signup bonus to wage on these and other events around the world.

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