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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

THE STATE OF HORSE RACING IN COLORADO

By HRI Editorial Staff — While horse racing is a fixture of American entertainment all over the country, the most impressive performances by the ponies might take place in Colorado. Sports fans are used to narratives about their favorite basketball players, baseball teams, and other high-level athletes being affected by the altitude in Colorado. It turns out that same thin, dry air that leads humans to feel short of breath in the middle of a game also affects horses in a similar way.

Once a horse racing gambler lands on the right platform from a list of top Colorado gambling sites, it might be prudent to do a little research about which animals have had the most success or experience in the unique Colorado atmosphere.

Fortunately for enthusiasts, there are now a few different legal ways to wager on horses within the state. Like many other states in America and many other sports, the online market for horse betting has taken off in the last several years. It’s certainly possible to place a bet through the comfort of your phone, tablet or laptop. Since this is the most convenient method, it has zoomed past other avenues in popularity.

Die-hard fans and those who loved the experience of absorbing the experience at the track still have the option to make the trip over and place some money in that fashion. There are also a handful of locations where folks can legally place a wager at an off track betting site.

The entire state of Colorado actually only has one live track that hosts races during the warmer summer months from May through August. It is called Arapahoe Park, located just outside the city of Aurora. Conveniently for most people, races are run on the weekends or on Mondays, and all commence at 1 p.m. local time. This allows fans to have a nice breakfast or brunch before enjoying the excitement of the sprint to the finish.

It is well entrenched in the Colorado sports scene, as Arapahoe Park has been in operation since 1984. It has a couple of races with a well-respected prize purse of $100,000, such as The Gold Rush Futurity and the Arapahoe Park Classic. It saves its best for last however, as The Mile High Futurity race attracts the best talent and is loaded up with a purse of $160,000.

The great news for fans who want to see some live racing during the summer months is that the park makes it pretty affordable to do so. It costs $5 for adults to enter, and is free of charge for guests ages 17 and under. Anyone who is 55 years or older can get into Arapahoe for a reduced fee of $1. This pricing should motivate those who do want to take a day trip to make the drive, rather than watch the proceedings digitally.

Horse racing has been a staple in Colorado from a betting perspective for just over 70 years. The first track opened in the state was called Centennial Racetrack in Littleton, Colorado. There was hope that it could be one of the premier tracks in the west, as it got off to a booming start during its July 4, 1950 grand opening.

Even though interest would wane over the ensuing years, Centennial Racetrack still remained in operation until 1983. Even though the venture didn’t quite have the staying power many would have hoped for, its presence laid the foundation for future venues. Arapahoe Park would come into existence in 1992, so has already been around for just about as long as its predecessor was in the last century.

However, Colorado was involved in a pretty popular multi-state race in the western United States in the early 1900’s, which also provided some groundwork for future interest. The “Great Horse Race” was a 500 mile odyssey that started in Wyoming and ended in Denver. As one might imagine, there were many horses that couldn’t physically make the journey that far, but a couple of them did cross the finish line. One horse was named Sam, who was bred in Colorado and ridden by local jockey Dode Wykert. Thousands of people lined to streets to watch the ponies finish the job.

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