What Are The Best Texas Horse Racing Tracks?

There are few more popular sports across the United States than horse racing. The sport is among one of the most prominent when it comes to betting on live action, with millions of dollars wagered annually on horse racing. 

The most popular events on the calendar also attract mainstream fans to gamble on the action, with some of the most prominent races on the schedule including theTwinSpires Kentucky Derby and Breeders’ Cup Classic. However, few states are as passionate about their horses as Texas. 

Therefore, there is a wide selection of excellent racecourses to visit in the state. But, what Texan tracks should all visitors attend at least once?

Gillespie County Race Track

One of the oldest County Fairs in the state of Texas is an excellent location to take in live horse racing action throughout the year. The most popular meet on the Gillespie County schedule takes place in July, with the course doing an excellent job of attracting fans of all ages to watch the best action in the state on track. 

It is one of the best summer activities for the family, with a range of food and entertainment options available away from the equine stars on show.

While it may not boast the same selection of graded races as some of the standout tracks in the United States, Gillespie County is a perfect first step into the sport for fans looking to learn more about the sport. Pari-mutuel gambling is available on track, with winning punters handed their returns immediately after the official results have been announced. 

Horse racing at the track is provided by the Gillespie County Fair & Festivals Association In, which is a non-profit organization priding itself on giving back to the local community.

Las Palmas Race Track

Las Palmas Race Track is one of the most popular options for visitors looking to attend a day at the races in the South Texas region. The track isn’t to be confused with the course of the same name on the West Coast, but it still holds an esteemed selection of races throughout the season. 

It is most famous for quarter racing, with live action taking place at the track at least once per month throughout the year. As well as being able to wager and watch the live racing action, fans are also treated to live entertainment at Las Palmas throughout the season, with live music typically staged on every Sunday. Visitors are also welcome to the course throughout the year, even when there isn’t racing taking place on track, as the on-site club house will show live action from the United States. 

Therefore, it is one of the best locations in Texas to watch the Kentucky Derby on the first Saturday in May. However, it really comes to life when there is live action on track, and it is a perfect day for the whole family.

Sam Houston Race Park

It would be fair to say that Sam Houston Race Park is the most popular racetracks in Texas, with action taking place throughout the season at the course in Texas. This track was first opened in April 1994, and there is Thoroughbred and quarter racing staged throughout the year. 

During its early years, it was considered to be one of the fastest growing race tracks in the United States, as there was no shortage of huge races on the schedule. Their most popular race day in history was achieved when 32,000 fans attended in July 2008. However, recent success has been harder to achieve for the track, as it was reported in 2023 that wagering had declined 91% on course. 

This was largely due to the ongoing battle between the Texas Racing Commission and the HISA. But, there remains competitive action on the schedule in the state, with Grade 3 affairs such as the John B. Connally Turf Cup and the Houston Ladies Classic staged annually.


Lone Star Park

Lone Star Park is also one of the most popular Thoroughbred racetracks in Texas, with the action on track taking place across two meets in Grand Prarie

The first meet runs between April and mid-July, before the Meeting of Champions sees action on track run between September and November. Lone Star was first opened in 1997, and it is owned by Global Gaming Solutions. Quarter races are also staged at the course, with three Grade 1s being staged annually. 

  1. The most lucrative of those is the Texas Classic Futurity, which boasts a purse of $1 million. Meanwhile, there are three further graded races included on the Lone Park schedule annually. The biggest Thoroughbred race of the year is the Steve Sexton Mile Stakes, which is run by horses aged three and over, with a purse of $400,000 available to winning connections at Lone Star Park.