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The Best Horse Racing Events in Florida


Sports across America are part of the way of life like many countries across the globe. Across the states the main sports such as football, baseball and basketball may have the highest national appeal but, in each state, there are other sports that draw the crowds and big parts of the sporting calendar.

Horse racing is one of the oldest sports in the world and in Florida, the sport remains, as its events are exciting parts of the sporting and social calendar each season. In 2020 the market value of horse racing was around $3 billion and horse racing betting continues to be a big draw for many to the sport, especially with the law changes in the US.

Gambling has been synonymous with horse racing for generations and is often a key part of what draws people across who may previously have no knowledge or interest in horses. Horse racing has generated around $11 billion every year in the past decade through its relationship with gambling.

It is considered only the 13th most popular sport in the US, with only around 1% of people rating it their favorite sport. This is something that the Jockey Club and racecourse owners have had to consider in their future plans.

Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino in Aventura, just north of Miami, is one of the most important racecourses in the United States. The track hosts the Sunshine Millions racing events and has also hosted the Pegasus Cup and will do so again in 2022.

Beautiful and picturesque, Gulfstream Park is a place for horse racing fans to experience for its ambiance as much as its high-quality racing events. One of the biggest draws to live horse racing is the spectacle of the event and Gulfstream Park offers visitors the perfect setting for the events. 

The Championship Meet runs from December to April every Wednesday and Sunday and is fully available to all to witness and experience. 

Hialeah Park is the most historic horse racing venue in all of Florida. Opened in 1922 it is often associated with the flamingos which have their own habitat within the racecourse grounds. Another Miami-based course, Hialeah Park, started as a greyhound racing track and was eventually turned into the famous horse racecourse it is today in the 1930s. Covering around 40 blocks just north of downtown Miami, Hialeah is now open year-round with casino-based attractions while hosting race events though out most of the year.   

Tampa Bay Downs is a thoroughbred racing ground with golf and a poker room on site. It is the only thoroughbred racetrack in west Florida. Considered to be one of America’s oldest and best-maintained racecourses it continues to improve and provide a perfect experience for every visitor.

On February 5th, Tampa Bay Downs hosts Turf Champions Day which is run by some of the best distance grass horses in training with a number of category races to enjoy 

Pompano Park situated north of Fort Lauderdale is a fun and exciting harness racing track. There aren’t too many around these days and can be a wonderful experience for a different style of racing.

The Stallion Stakes at Pompano are a joy to watch, and the setting is a fun and buzzing atmosphere supported by the Isle Casino situated in Pompano Park. Harness racing may not be the most popular style of racing across the US, though this is a wonderful venue and a different experience for people to enjoy.

The Casino on site is over 157,000 square feet with gigantic center bar screens with full 360-degree coverage. Visitors can enjoy the casino while attending race days and on Sundays, there is a live racing BBQ.

Some venues have the history and the prestige, but it is the smaller venues that are struggling to compete and earn the revenues needed to help grow the sport. If funding is to be continued to be directed their way, a new plan needs to be considered in building the following of the sport across the country.

In the meantime, the larger courses with their onsite casinos will be the most popular destinations for gambling and horse racing fans in Florida and the rest of the US.