Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc.
WHAT IS THE OLDEST, STILL RUNNING THOROUGHBRED RACETRACK IN THE UNITED STATES?
The oldest racetrack in the United States is Freehold Raceway in New Jersey. It opened in the 1830s but races harness horses (standard breds) not Thoroughbreds. For many the answer to this question would be Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York. Although it is old, it is not the oldest. The first Thoroughbred race took place at Saratoga in 1863. This weekend New Orleans, Louisiana will be the center of racing in North America when it hosts the Louisiana Derby (GII). It will be run at the Fair Grounds Racetrack, the second oldest racetrack in the United States but the oldest Thoroughbred racetrack The Fair Grounds first hosted a race in 1838, twenty-three years before Saratoga. The Louisiana Derby inaugurated in 1894 has a rich history. Only two horses have won both the Louisiana Derby and the Kentucky Derby. In 1924 Black Gold did it and in 1996 Grindstone did it. The last horse to run in the Louisiana Derby, finishing 2nd by way of disqualification from 3rd, and go on to win the Kentucky Derby was Sackatoga Stable’s Funny Cide in 2003. This year the Sackatoga Stables has the current favorite to win the Kentucky Derby, Tis The Law. However, this time he will try the Kentucky Derby after running in the Florida Derby.