Thoroughbred Racing Fan Association, Inc.
WHAT IS THE OLDEST RACETRACK IN AMERICA STILL IN OPERATION?
When we first read this question our mind went to Saratoga Race Course which first ran in 1863. It in fact is the fourth oldest race track. The oldest racetrack honor goes to a harness track –Freehold Raceway. The oldest Thoroughbred racetrack dates back to 1838. That year it began racing in March and lasted just five days. It reopened in 1852 as the Union Race Course. Today it is a major southern racing circuit that hosts significant prep races for the Kentucky Derby. Many of the top trainers including Todd Pletcher have stables at this racetrack. Its premier prep race is the Louisiana Derby. In 1996 Grindstone won the Louisiana Derby and went on to win the Kentucky Derby. Eight years earlier (1988), Risen Star won the Louisiana Derby and went on to win the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes. He lost (3rd) in the Kentucky Derby to Winning Colors (1st) and Forty Niner (2nd). The oldest Thoroughbred Racetrack in America still in operations is the Fair Grounds Race Track that is host to this weekend’s Lecomte Stakes.