Horse racing is a very popular sport in the United States, in fact, here is one of the biggest races in the horse racing calendar. With that said, some states have a more optimistic look on this industry than others and legalize betting on horses and push horse racing events.
AND Pennsylvania was one of the first states in America that legalized thoroughbred and harness horse racing back in the 1960s.
In fact, it hosts some of the biggest horse racing events in the US every year. Since the Kentucky Derby race time is just barely one month away, we thought to look at how Philadelphia and its surroundings match the horse racing madness of Louisville.
There are many state-of-the-art horse racing facilities around Philadelphia, which makes it the perfect destination for every horse racing enthusiast. Let’s highlight some of the best horse tracks near Philadelphia.
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Parx Casino and Racing – Bensalem
The Parx Casino and Racing is one of the biggest and more modern racecourses near Philadelphia. This racetrack was formerly known as Keystone Racetrack and Philadelphia Park and dates back to 1979.
Apart from the amazing horse racing facility, there are plenty of things to do around, such as a full casino with tons of entertainment games and shows.
Additionally, the Parx Casino holds one of the biggest races in that area, called the Pennsylvania Derby & Cotillion Day. This is the first horse racing event near Philadelphia to have a $1 million prize purse that features a nine-furlong race on a dirt track.
The race in 2016 even increased its prize purse to $1.25 million due to the presence of 2016 Kentucky Derby winner Nyquist as well as Preakness Stakes winner Exaggerator.
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino & Racetrack
This is another great racetrack and one of the best places to harness racing during the year. The Harrah’s Racetrack has one of the fastest 5/8 mile horse racing surfaces and it is the first-of-its-kind in North America miracle turn that extends over the Delaware River with a specially constructed bridge.
The horse racing seasons at Harrah’s racetrack start from April through December featuring many incredible races that every horse racing enthusiast should witness.
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino
The Meadows Racetrack and Casino might be a couple of hours away from Philadelphia, but it is well worth it. It features a standard 5/8 mile oval harness racing and opened its doors in 1963 as the first pari-mutuel horse racing track in the state.
There are many popular races hosted on this trach such as the Meadows Racetrack is also home to other big horse racing events like the $400,000 Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids race, originally called the Adios Pace.
This race has been running since 1967 and it has rich history and tradition on the same track.
Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course
The Pen National Race Course has quickly become one of the top racecourses for thoroughbred races in the state. It is a professional one-mile turf race that features three-year-olds. The track opened its doors back in 1972, and what’s unusual about this racecourse is that it offers racing 52 weeks a year.
One of the biggest races is the Penn Mile Stakes which is hosted every June with a prize purse of $500.000. The influx of funds from the casino on the property helps to make as large a purse as possible.
It is an incredible racecourse full of many different races every weekend, so there is a low chance that you’ll walk on closed doors on your next visit.
Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs
The Mohegan Sun Pocono is another horse racetrack located in Plains Township on the outskirts of Wilkes_Barre, Pennsylvania. This is actually a casino offering many games from slots to table games, and on top of that, it has a 5/8 mile harness track that attracts many visitors per year.
This racetrack features many races every year, and plenty of things to do in the resort covering close to 100,000 square feet.
So, if you are in Philadelphia, make sure to check out the Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs if there is a live horse racing event scheduled during your stay. It will definitely be worth it.