Thoroughbred Horse Race Tracks…Where They Run in the USA

When searching for winners, examine the race track type. Thoroughbred horse race tracks are in 4 different groups, with each needing a different approach to handicap races.

These groups are much like leagues.

They are:

1. The Major League Tracks such as Belmont, Santa Anita.

2. The AAA League Tracks such as Calder, Arlington.

3. The AA League Tracks such as Philadelphia Park, Suffolk Downs, Delaware.

4. The Bush League Tracks such as Fairmont, Finger Lakes.

Some handicapping factors apply to all horse racing, but most only in varying degrees, and some do not apply at all in some racing venues.

The major handicapping factors are:

  • PACE

In the Major League, MONEY is the name of the game. When big time owners invest millions of dollars in untested yearlings, and create empires of breeding horseflesh, with and without royalty, you can be sure there will be a ready showcase for these splendid steeds to show their speed.

Thoroughbred Horse Race Tracks...Where They Run in the USA

These Major League thoroughbred horse race tracks showcases feature big dollar purses that create the competition of human egos and horseflesh heart.

The Major League consists of two major racing circuits. On the East coast we have beautiful Belmont Park, one of the most bountiful summertime racing havens. It is located close to New York City assuring large crowds every racing day.

Not quite as beautiful, but none the less very functional, for summertime and winter racing is the Big-A, or to be proper, Aqueduct Race Track.

Both of these tracks have very large facilities for the temperamental breed, the thoroughbred. All year the racing shifts back and forth between these two outstanding tracks.

Then during the heat of August, stakes are pulled up and everyone heads for upstate New York and the tradition of racing at the Saratoga Springs antique race track.

Out on the West coast the same thing exists. There is beautiful Santa Anita racetrack, functional Hollywood Park: and the antique Delmar that opens it’s racing card from early August to early September.

This allows  the horsemen to spend their evenings on the beaches of the great Pacific.

These two racing circuits offer many millions of dollars in race purses during the racing year. As mentioned, the Major League is Big Money, and the Major League is where the big name and highly talented horses perform.

They may also run at a few other ovals, but they all gravitate to or back to these two year round Major League thoroughbred horse race tracks.

During the bitter winter months on the East coast, the creme dela creme will go South to bathe in the Florida sunshine and on occasion even play around in the AAA League racing, just for kicks, training and to skim off the top purses at the almost big time ovals.

It seems that the AAA League ovals do not have the very large population pockets to draw support from, or they might graduate to the Big League.

The horse population in the AAA is made up of those that didn’t make the grade in the Majors and needed softer competition in order to win purses.

And as mentioned they do have some tasty purses, usually won by the big boys or girls stopping in for a race.

The other leagues are made up of rejects from the horse hierarchy and a breed of the thoroughbred that is bred into mediocrity. These horses race for purses as low as a few thousand dollars. Paying the feed bill becomes a trainers goal.

In the Major League a horses CLASS seems to dominate. The lower in the leagues they go, PHYSICAL CONDITION seems to be the key. If you can find a horse in the Minor thoroughbred horse race tracks with four well conditioned legs, it is probably a likely winner, but not necessarily a good wagering proposition.