Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Horse Racing Scene in Pennsylvania

Among the many horse race tracks across the United States and around the world, they all attract horse racing admirers both because of the sport of horse racing as well as the beauty of the race horses.  With the United States, the horse race tracks vary depending on individual state.  In Pennsylvania, there are four that are synonymous with horse racing. 

The Meadows Racetrack and Casino is located in Washington County, Pennsylvania.  Although it was inaugurated on June 28th, 1963, the commencement on building western Pennsylvania’s first parimutuel happened in 1962.  Over the years, it has witnessed some changes including technological advances such as Call-A-Bet and the Meadows Racing Network (MRN).  Setting it apart from other horse race tracks in the United States is the fact that The Meadows Racetrack and Casino hosts racing throughout the entire year with more than 200 days having live racing action.  Aside from curtain stakes races or early/late closer events where a trailer may be use, a maximum of nine race horses start on the gate.  It hosts both horse races as well as standard harness racing on a course on a 5/8th mile oval.  Depending on the length of the race, there may be multiple laps around the track.  For instance, the standard harness racing span is 1 mile so these races begin on the backstretch and continue through 3 turns. 

Presque Island Downs and Casino is located just south of Erie, Pennsylvania.  This site is home to numerous horse races; however, some of the most significant include the following.  The Presque Island Downs Masters Stakes is a grade II race open to 3-year-old horses or older with a purse of USD 400,000 and ran over 6 ½ furlongs.  Presque Isle Mile is another race open to 3-year-old horses or older with a purse of USD 250,000 ran over a distance of one mile.  The Tom Ridge Stakes, formerly the Tom Ridge Labor Day Stakes, is open to 3-year-old horses with a purse of USD 100,000 with the race being named after Tom Ridge who governed Pennsylvania from 1995 until 2001. 

Parx Casino and Racing, previously known as Philadelphia Park Racetrack and Casino, is home to several horse races, and it is the biggest casino gaming complex in Pennsylvania.  Back in November 1974, the track was first opened at Keystone Racktrack.  There is a one mile dirt track and a 7 furlong turf track at Parx.  Throughout its changes in names, one thing has remained constant that some well-known horses have graced the winner’s circle at Parx.  These include Shuvee, My Juliet, Spectacular Bid, Revidere, Summer Squall and Broad Brush.  Smarty Jones, winner of the 2004 Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes, had his original home at Parx.  It is now one of the things that makes it a famous horse race track.

Penn National Race Course is located in Grantville, Pennsylvania and is both a horse race track and a casino.  As with The Meadows, it boasts of horse racing throughout all 52 weeks of the year.  Penn National Race Course was inaugurated on August 30th, 1972, and it is made up of a 1 mile dirt track encompassing a 7 furlong turf track.  It is hosts the newly inaugurated Penn Mile held first in 2013 and won by Rydilluc.  It is also home to Eclipse Special Award winner Rapid Redux and his trainer David J. Wells. 

In the virtual world of horse racing, you can race champions from the past and present on horse race tracks across the United States and throughout the world.  Horse Racing Fantasy by Horse Racing Simulation LLC is such a virtual horse racing game.  It allows you to select your desired race horse from there more than 2,000 worldwide racing champions as well as your preferred horse race track within the United States or from around the word with their considerable options.  

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