Thoroughbred racing is extremely popular in the USA and there are a plethora of tracks which stage regular meetings throughout the year. Top trainers and jockey regular pitch up at these venues and provide plenty of entertainment for punters worldwide. Many of these racedays are extremely well-attended and there is often a terrific atmosphere track-side. Let's take a look at three must-visit courses which should be high on any sports fans bucket list.
Source: Gulfstream Park via Twitter
GULFSTREAM PARK There are plenty of racetracks situated throughout Florida, but Gulfstream Park is undoubtedly the most attractive destination for horse racing enthusiasts. Described as an "entertainment destination", this is a complex which sees more than its fair share of sunshine throughout the course of the year. It stages racing all-year round and always attracts top jockeys and trainers such as Irad Ortiz Jr, Michael Maker and Jerry Hollendorfer. There are plenty of stakes races taking place throughout the season, with the Pegasus World Cup amongst the highlights. The 2019 renewal is set to be another fascinating contest. Accelerate is the current 2/1 favourite in the horse racing betting market for the January contest, which boasts a purse of $12 million. This scenic track may be one of the newer venues on the thoroughbred racing scene but it feels authentic and its proximity to the beach is another huge draw. It is undoubtedly worth a visit.
SANTA ANITA PARK Situated in the San Gabriel Mountains, Santa Anita is one of the many unmissable sporting destinations located in the USA. The Northern California track has hosted the Breeders Cup on nine occasions and the prestigious contest will return to the track in 2019. Its scenic locale means that tickets are already selling fast for November's showpiece and racing fans will descend on this imperious destination to enjoy two nights of top-class action. The stunning backdrop is part and parcel of the Santa Anita experience and the track has been in operation since 1934. The art-deco grandstand is mightily impressive and simply adds to the grandeur of the venue. It is extremely well-preserved, while - similarly to Gulfstream Park - good weather is pretty much guaranteed at Santa Anita. Regular stakes races are staged in front of a packed crowd and although you may have to go out of your way to visit this track, it is well worth the detour.
Source: Blood Horse via Twitter
BELMONT PARK This track can occasionally fall under the radar but it is an exceptionally well-maintained venue with an unrivalled atmosphere. This New York course regularly holds up to 50,000 spectators but seldom feels overcrowded. Regular race days throughout the summer months make this the ideal destination for sun-seekers and racing fans who are looking to witness some top class thoroughbred action. Big fields are a regular occurrence at Belmont Park and with Fox Sports showing the majority of races from the track, it's also possible to enjoy regular race days from the comfort of your own home. However, it's hard to beat the thrill of witnessing the action track-side at this wonderful and unique venue. Very little can compare to witnessing 'the sport of kings' in the flesh. These three tracks provide the ideal opportunity for visitors to get a true feel for the US racing scene. With a large number of venues situated around the country, there are always plenty of opportunities to enjoy some high-quality turf action throughout the year.
8 January 2019.