Best Horse Racing Tracks In Kansas State History


Horse racing had rapid growth in North America throughout history and now there are plenty of Internationally Known racetracks that are home to some of the biggest horse races in the world.

One of the states that have a long and quite turbulent history with horse racing is Kansas. If we look at the horse racing scene in Kansas we can tell that it is a real business just because there are a number of organizations that work together to ensure the health and welfare of horses.

Unfortunately, Kansas state doesn’t have a good history with horse racing, which is why some of the race courses didn’t survive over the years. 

Many of the race tracks that held thoroughbred horse racing for decades were closed due to law changes in the state. However, betting in horse racing is legal and despite being unregulated, you can place a bet on the 2022 Breeders’ Cup entries on authorized websites to operate in the state.

Let’s take a look at some of the best horse racing tracks that ever existed in Kansas state.

Best Horse Racing Tracks in Kansas History

Anthony Downs Racecourse 

One of the most popular horse racing tracks in Kansas is the Anthony Downs Racecourse, which opened its doors back in 1904. Back in the day, the track wasn’t only home to traditional horse racing, but also for Greyhound racing events.

The Antony Downs Racecourse shares a lot of history in thoroughbred horse racing. Racing was held annually on two weekends offering a mixed program for everyone’s taste.

However, the biggest growth in popularity came when pair-mutual arrived in 1992 and the Kansas state relaxed its gambling laws. Even though allowing wagering changed the hope for the track, it didn’t last for long. 

In 2009, pari-mutual wagering was outlawed again in Kansas, but this wasn’t the end of the Antony Downs racetrack.

The organizers decided to schedule another race in 2010 where wagering wouldn’t be allowed. However, since betting is a huge part of horse racing, the track died quite quickly after that and was demolished in 2012.

Now Anthony Downs is a dead track, which is a shame considering the long history that the place has. However, if you go to this place, you can still see the track, with one structure standing, which looks to be a mutual building. 

Eureka Downs

Here we have another racetrack in Kansas that has a long history with horse racing. The track was originally built in 1872 but later relocated to the present location in 1902.

It opened its doors for professional horse racing in 1903, and since then it became a great attraction for the locals.

However, even though the track hosted one of the biggest thoroughbred horse races in the State, it didn’t survive for long due to financial problems.

The Eureka Downs racetrack and Anthony Downs racetrack organized non-betting races for many years. As we know, betting is a huge part of horse racing and cannot be imagined without it. The lack of betting due to Kansas state laws changing constantly, these tracks were not able to make the profits from attendance to keep them going.

Eureka Downs is now permanently closed and it is often used as a training facility. The Eureka Downs was quite heavily damaged in 2018 by a tornado, which is a real shame since it deleted many years of horse racing history.

The Woodlands

This was another great racetrack that promised a lot but unfortunately wasn’t able to light up the horse racing scene in Kansas.

After Kansas voters permitted parimutuel betting, the track was built in 1986. It opened its doors in 1989 for the first horse race and was the first legal gambling outlet in the Kansas City area since the 1930s.

However, after being subjected to serious scandals over the years, and the constant law changes in Kansas state, the track disappeared from the radar.

The track declared bankruptcy in 1996 and was bought back by William M. Grace. He even attempted to get slot machine licenses, which was unsuccessful which was the end of The Woodlands horse racing track.