Discover Superior Horse Racing Action at Philadelphia Park
Philadelphia Park is a thoroughbred race track in Bensalem, Pennsylvania that offers year-round live horse racing action.
Philadelphia Park is the home of Pennsylvania's premier thoroughbred race, the $500,000 grade III Pennsylvania Derby. The Pennsylvania Derby is a nine-furlong race for three year olds held each year on Labor Day. It has consistently attracted large crowds, record handles and of course, a high quality field of contenders.
Philadelphia Park is the home of 2004 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner Smarty Jones. His victories have generated renewed interest on and aroused great pride for Philadelphia Park.
Aside from the Pennsylvania Derby, Philadelphia Park regularly hosts key stakes event each year. Among those that it has hosted are:
- Don Levine Memorial Handicap
- The Turf Monster Handicap
- The Greenwood Cup
- The Peppy Addy
- The Lyman Sprint
- The My Juliet
- The Ambassador of Luck Handicap
- The Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap
- The Larry R. Riviello Presidents Cup
- The Cotillion Handicap
- The Gallant Bob Handicap
A Brief History of Philadelphia Park
The Philadelphia area has long been identified with thoroughbred racing, as it has been the site of horse races that date back to 1699. In fact, so integrated were those races in the history of the city that it has a Race Street in the Center City area.
The creation of a new race track in the Philadelphia area was announced in January 1970.
The new track was to be the future venue of thoroughbred racing in the area after being held at Liberty Bell Race Track for the previous five years. The proposed cost for the construction of the new facility was $25 million. Over 14,000 racing fans came out on November 14, 1974 , opening day at the new track called Keystone Race Track. The new facility had six floors, a dining area on the Clubhouse level, as well as stabling for 1,200 horses.
In 1984, Keystone race track was purchased for $40 million. The track became known as Philadelphia Park and along with it came a new turf course and new method of wagering called Phonebet. Before the new Phonebet system, bettors were required to come to the track to place wagers. With Phonebet, bettors can legally place wagers from their homes on Philadelphia Park or any Pennsylvania track.
In December 1990, a corporation called Greenwood Racing, Inc. founded by British bookmaking veterans Bob Green and Bill Hogwood purchased Philadelphia Park from ITB.
Massive renovations and refurbishments were undertaken at Philadelphia Park , including the expansion of the walking ring and Paddock, a complete painting of the exterior of the Grandstand, and the transformation of the 69,000 square foot first floor into a modern Turf Club, complete with simulcast theaters, dining room, and sports bar, a horsemen's lounge, and a marble and granite entrance.
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