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Horse race tracks in Texas

Throughout this page, you’ll learn all the important facets of horse racetracks in Texas. From where you can find them throughout the state, to how these venues function, this is your one-stop shop for all things horse racing in TX.

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Texas boasts a rich tradition in horse racing, with several notable racetracks that attract enthusiasts from across the state and beyond. These tracks not only offer thrilling live horse racing events but also serve as hubs for off-track betting, providing a comprehensive horse racing experience.

From the historic grandstands to modern facilities, each track in Texas has its own unique charm and character, reflecting the state's deep connection with the sport. Whether it's thoroughbred, quarter horse, or harness racing, these venues cater to a wide array of preferences, making Texas a significant player in the American horse racing scene.

Horse race tracks in Texas


Texas is home to six prominent horse race tracks. These tracks offer a variety of racing experiences, including live events and simulcast betting, catering to horse racing enthusiasts across the state. Each track has its unique features and racing schedules, contributing to the rich tapestry of the horse racing culture in Texas.

Texas Race Track

Address

Lone Star Park

1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grande Prairie TX 75050

Gillespie County Fairgrounds

530 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, TX 78624

Manor Downs

9211 Hill Lane, Manor TX 78653

Retama Park

1 Retama Parkway, Selma, TX 78154

Sam Houston Race Park

7575 N. Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, TX 77064

Saddle Brook Park (Formerly Lubbock Downs)

3822 Business Park Drive, Amarillo, TX 79110

Yes, horse race betting in Texas is legal. The state permits pari-mutuel wagering on horse races at licensed racetracks. This type of betting involves pooling the bets of all bettors on a race and sharing the total among the winners, minus a percentage for the management.

Texas racetracks offer both live racing bets and simulcast betting, where bettors can wager on races broadcast from other tracks. However, it's important to note that while horse race betting is legal at these licensed venues, other forms of sports betting and casino gambling face stricter regulations in the state.

How can you place a wager at a Texas race track?

Placing a wager at a Texas race track is a straightforward process that can be an enjoyable part of the racing experience. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Select the Race and Horse(s): Begin by choosing the specific race and horse(s) you want to bet on. Review the race program for information on the horses' past performances, jockeys, and odds. This data is crucial for making an informed decision.
  2. Decide Your Bet Type: Choose the type of wager you want to place. Options include simple bets like 'win' (horse must win), 'place' (finish in the top two), or 'show' (top three), and more complex bets like exactas, trifectas, or superfectas, which involve predicting the finishing order of multiple horses.
  3. Fill Out the Betting Slip: Fill in a betting slip with the race number, the number(s) of your chosen horse(s), and the amount of your bet. If you need assistance, staff members at the track are usually available to help.
  4. Place Your Bet: Take your completed betting slip to a teller. They will confirm the details and take your wager. You'll receive a ticket in return, which you need to keep to collect any winnings.
  5. Watch the Race: After placing your bet, you can watch the race on the track or via screens provided. This is where the excitement of horse racing truly comes alive.
  6. Collect Your Winnings (If Applicable): If your bet is successful, return to the teller with your ticket to collect your winnings. The amount you receive depends on the odds of your bet and the type of wager you placed.

Key things to know when betting at a race track in Texas

When betting at a race track in Texas, it's important to keep certain key things in mind:

  • Understand Pari-Mutuel Betting: Pari-mutuel betting means your winnings depend on the total bets and the number of winners. Familiarize yourself with how payouts are calculated.
  • Set a Budget: Always bet within your means. Determine a budget for your visit and stick to it, ensuring gambling remains a fun and responsible activity.
  • Research Before You Bet: Take time to study the race program. Information about the horses, jockeys, track conditions, and odds can greatly influence the outcome of a race.
  • Diverse Betting Strategies: Consider varying your betting strategy. While straightforward bets are easier to understand, exotic bets can offer higher returns.
  • Keep Track of Bets and Races: Stay organized. Keep track of the races and bets you’re interested in to avoid missing out on any action.
  • Enjoy the Experience: Remember, betting at a race track is as much about the experience and excitement of live horse racing as it is about winning.
  • Stay Informed About Legalities: Be aware of the legal age for betting in Texas and any other legal requirements or limitations related to horse race betting in the state.

FAQ

Are there any horse race tracks near Dallas?

Yes, there is a horse race track near Dallas. Lone Star Park, located in Grand Prairie, is the closest track to Dallas. It offers both live horse racing and simulcast betting, providing a full horse racing experience for enthusiasts in the Dallas area.

Which is the oldest horse race track in Texas?

The oldest horse race track in Texas is Manor Downs. Located near Manor, Texas, Manor Downs was recognized as the state's oldest pari-mutuel horse racetrack. This historic track featured both quarter horse and thoroughbred racing, along with simulcast racing.

Do Texas horse race tracks offer sports betting?

At the time of writing, sports betting in Texas is not legally permitted, including at horse race tracks. While horse and greyhound racing betting is legal and widely practiced at various racetracks in the state, traditional sports betting - both online and in person - is not yet available.

Can I attend live horse racing events in Texas?

Yes, you can attend live horse racing events in Texas. In 2024, notable tracks like Sam Houston Race Park and Retama Park are hosting live racing seasons.

What types of horse racing are commonly held in Texas?

In Texas, the most common types of horse racing are thoroughbred and quarter horse racing. Thoroughbred racing, known for its longer distances, attracts a wide audience and is often associated with prestigious events. Quarter horse racing, on the other hand, is characterized by short-distance sprints and is extremely popular, especially in the western parts of the United States, including Texas.

How can I find information about horse racing schedules and events in Texas?

To find information about horse racing schedules and events in Texas, you can visit the official websites of the major racetracks in the state. For instance, Sam Houston Race Park and Retama Park regularly update their websites with detailed racing schedules, event information, and ticket purchasing options.