Oregon Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in OR

Learn about Oregon's race tracks and legal horse race betting options

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Oregon’s horse racing history is a cherished part of the Pacific Northwest’s sporting tapestry. The state once boasted vibrant venues that captivated a passionate audience, and the legalization of pari-mutuel wagering further enriched the spectator experience, allowing fans to partake not only as onlookers but as active bettors. 

Yet, over time, Oregon’s race tracks have shuttered, one after another, changing the direct experience of live racing within the state. Even so, the affection for the sport remains undeterred, prompting many Oregonians to explore neighboring states and other avenues to engage with the races they hold dear.

Most Popular Oregon Horse Race Tracks

In the tapestry of Oregon’s equestrian history, Portland Meadows stood as a monumental thread. Established in 1946, it flourished as a central hub for Oregon horse racing enthusiasts. 

However, as the industry grappled with challenges, even this iconic track couldn’t withstand the pressures. Its closure in 2019 marked a significant chapter in Oregon’s equestrian story, leaving the state devoid of operational horse race tracks.

The good news? Grants Pass Downs received a license from the ORC to conduct a commercial race meet, inaugurating its season in June 2023, with the schedule extending into October.

Grants Pass Downs

Address: 1451 Fairgrounds Rd, Grants Pass, OR 97526, USA
Phone: 541-476-1639

Grants Pass Downs, located in Grants Pass, Oregon, ushered in a new era of Oregon horse racing with the commencement of its commercial race meet in June 2023. Recognized for its exhilarating blend of thoroughbred and quarter horse races, this venue truly exemplifies the spirit of the sport.

A highlight of the racing calendar at Grants Pass Downs is the “Firecracker Futurity” on July 4th. This event sees 2-year-old Quarter Horses, which have qualified through timed trials, sprinting 350 yards to compete for a prize pot nearing $70,000.

For those interested in wagering at Grants Pass Downs, there are several betting options available. Patrons can opt for a straightforward Win bet, where one wagers on a horse to finish first. If looking for a bet that offers a bit more leeway, the Place bet allows for a horse to finish either first or second, and the Show bet extends this to the top three finishes. 
For those with a keen eye for form and a bit of intuition, the Exacta and Trifecta bets present a greater challenge and potential reward. An Exacta requires the bettor to predict the first two finishers in their exact order, while the Trifecta extends this challenge by adding a third horse into the mix.

Grants Pass Downs

Now, as we pivot, let’s venture beyond Oregon’s borders and explore horse racing opportunities in neighboring states, just a car drive away:

Emerald Downs , Washington

Address: 2300 Ron Crockett Dr, Auburn, WA 98001, USA
Phone: +1 253-288-7000

Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Northwest, Emerald Downs stands as a beacon for horse racing enthusiasts. Since its inception, this premier racetrack has been the home of exhilarating races that draw spectators from all over. 

Top-tier races such as the Longacres Mile and the Emerald Downs Derby, among others, are a testament to the quality and competitive spirit the track brings year after year. Each race, whether on turf or dirt, showcases the sheer athleticism and spirit of the competing horses.

For those inclined towards wagering, the track offers a plethora of betting options, especially in Thoroughbred betting, which refers to wagering on races specifically involving the Thoroughbred breed of horses. 

Bettors can analyze the horses’ form, jockey, training, and other factors to make informed predictions about the race outcome. From the straightforward Win, Place, and Show bets to the more complex Trifecta and Superfecta wagers, there’s something for both the novice and seasoned bettor.

The anticipation heightens when aiming for the bigger stakes in consecutive race bets like the Daily Double or the challenging Pick 5.

Emerald Downs Washington

Beyond the races, Emerald Downs ensures a comprehensive experience for its visitors. A gastronomic journey awaits with diverse restaurants and bars catering to varied palates. Whether you desire the panoramic grandstand views, the exclusivity of box seating, or the casual vibe of picnic tables, the track offers seating that aligns with every preference. 

The elite Tattersalls club elevates the experience, providing members with distinct amenities, including private betting windows and a plush setting.

Yet, what truly sets Emerald Downs apart is its commitment to making horse racing a family affair. The presence of a dedicated playground and the warm welcome to even the youngest visitors with their strollers attest to this commitment.

Santa Anita Park, California

Address: 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007, USA
Phone: +1 626-574-7223

Nestled against the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains in Arcadia, California, just a 12-hour drive south from Oregon, is the iconic Santa Anita Park. Since its grand opening in 1934, Santa Anita Park, with its elegant art deco facade, has stood as a beacon of horse racing in North America. 

Fondly known as The Great Race Place, the park has been the stage for numerous legendary performances, and over the years, it has played host to an array of premier races. 

Of these, the Santa Anita Handicap, commonly termed “the Big Cap”, stands out as a key highlight that has been celebrated since the track’s early days, drawing in a competitive field and attention from across the country.

Santa Anita Park, California

For those keen on diving deep into the action, Santa Anita Park offers a plethora of betting options, from the straightforward Win, Place, and Show bets to the more complex Trifecta and Superfecta.

Santa Anita Park in California combines world-class horse racing with a luxurious spectator experience. Dining options include the panoramic FrontRunner and intimate Silks, while early birds can enjoy breakfast at Clockers’ Corner as horses run their morning workouts. 

For premium seating, options range from Trackside Dining, Premium Box Seats, to exclusive Suites At Santa Anita. Those looking for elevated views can opt for The 100-to-1 Club or Upper Terrace (East & West). 

Del Mar Racetrack

Address: 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, CA 92014, USA
Phone: +1 858-755-1141

Del Mar Racetrack in California is synonymous with style and flair, often accompanied by the renowned phrase, “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.” Located adjacent to the mesmerizing Pacific coastline, this racetrack offers more than just horse races, presenting a complete experience. 

One of its standout events is the Pacific Classic, a Grade 1 race that garners attention nationwide, drawing some of the finest horses to vie for a substantial purse. The Del Mar Derby is another highlight, spotlighting younger thoroughbreds in a fierce competition for supremacy.

As for betting options, Del Mar provides an array of choices to enthusiasts, whether novices or seasoned bettors. The standard bets include Win, Place, and Show, which predict first, second, and third places respectively. 
For those looking for more intricate bets, there are the Trifecta and Superfecta, which challenge punters to correctly pick the top three or four finishers in the correct order. For sequential race predictions, bettors can venture into the Daily Double, Pick 3, Pick 4, or even the Pick 5.

Del Mar signature drink

Del Mar Racetrack seamlessly combines the thrill of horse races with exquisite dining and entertainment options. Patrons can relish gourmet meals at the Trackside Tables & Dining or the upscale Turf Club. For a casual dining experience, the Clubhouse Terrace and Stretch Run Grill are perfect spots.

The Taste of the Turf Club promises curated dishes for the discerning palate. For those looking to sip on something special, the Del Margarita, part of Del Mar’s signature drinks, is a refreshing choice available across all venues.

Regular visitors might consider the exclusive benefits of the Del Mar Insider or Diamond Club, ensuring a premium experience with each visit.

List of All Oregon Race Tracks

As we’ve observed, the options for horse racing in Oregon are close to slim. Instead, residents of Oregon must turn their gaze southward to California if they want more than one option to choose from:

Horse race trackHorse race track
Santa Anita ParkDel Mar Racetrack
Golden Gate FieldsLos Alamitos Race Course
Cal ExpoFairplex Park
Alameda County FairgroundsSonoma County Fairgrounds
San Joaquin County FairgroundsFresno Fairgrounds

Simulcast Wagering in Oregon

Simulcast wagering in Oregon, specifically in partnership with Grants Pass Downs, allows Oregon horse racing fans to bet on live races without being at the racetrack. The state and the racetrack have collaborated with various local venues to facilitate this off-track betting experience. Here’s a list of the OTB partners in Oregon associated with Grants Pass Downs:

NameAddressCity, StatePhone
Emerald Lanes140 Oakway RoadEugene, Oregon 97401(541) 342-2611
Speakeasy Bar & Grill15680 SW Boones FerryLake Oswego, Oregon 97035(503) 684-0380
Rialto529 SW 4th StreetPortland, Oregon 97204(503) 228-7605
Capital Cantina1486 NE HawthorneSalem, Oregon 97301(971) 707-4916
Actions Sports Bar490 East Ln, Suite #10Ontario, Oregon 97914(541) 216-5081
Lava Lanes of Bend1555 NE Forbes RoadBend, Oregon 97701(541) 318-5656
Tom’s Bar3871 SE Division StreetPortland, Oregon 97202(503) 233-1363
Stadiums16065 SE McLoughlin BlvdOak Grove, Oregon 97267(503) 305-8410
Alexander’s Sports Bar1712 NE Fairview AveFairview, Oregon 97024(503) 665-3400
Portland Meadows8102 NE Lombard StreetPortland, Oregon 97218(971) 254-4450

Popular Horse Races in Oregon with Dates

Since Grants Pass Downs doesn’t host any renowned races yet, let’s turn our attention to some of California’s most prestigious horse races:

Race NameDescriptionRacing datesLocation
Santa Anita DerbyGrade I stakes race for three-year-olds, 1 1/8 miles, Kentucky Derby prepAnnually in AprilSanta Anita Park, Arcadia, CA
Santa Anita HandicapGrade I stakes race for three-year-olds and up, 1 1/2 milesAnnually in MarchSanta Anita Park, Arcadia, CA
Arlington MillionInternational Grade I stakes race for three-year-olds and up, 1 1/2 milesAnnually in AugustSanta Anita Park, Arcadia, CA
Breeders’ Cup ClassicGrade I stakes race for three-year-olds and up, 1 1/2 milesAnnually in NovemberSanta Anita Park, Arcadia, CA
Hollywood Gold CupGrade I stakes race for three-year-olds and up, 1 1/4 milesAnnually in JulyBetfair Hollywood Park, Inglewood, CA
Del Mar OaksGrade I stakes race for three-year-old fillies, 1 1/2 milesAnnually in AugustDel Mar Racetrack, Del Mar, CA
Del Mar FuturityGrade I stakes race for two-year-olds, 1 mileAnnually in JulyDel Mar Racetrack, Del Mar, CA

Types of Horse Betting Legal in Oregon

Whether you’re at Grants Pass Downs, in sunny California, or making use of online sportsbooks, Oregon horse racing enthusiasts have a plethora of betting options. 

Superfecta betting

Here are the various types of horse race bets you can place:

  • Win: This is betting on a horse to cross the finish line first. It’s the most straightforward type of bet and pays out if the horse you bet on wins the race.
  • Place: When you place this bet, you’re predicting that your horse will either come in first or second. It gives you a higher probability of winning compared to a Win bet.
  • Show: This is a bet that your horse will finish anywhere within the top three positions.
  • Exacta: This is for those who love precision. You’re betting on the exact order of the first two finishers in a race.
  • Trifecta: Taking it a notch higher, a Trifecta bet requires you to predict the exact order of the top three finishers in the race.
  • Superfecta: For the brave-hearted, this bet requires you to predict the first four horses in the exact order of their finish.
  • Daily Double: This involves selecting the winners of two consecutive races. Both of your picks must win for you to get a payout.
  • Pick 3, Pick 4, Pick 5, and Pick 6: These are wagers where bettors must pick the winners of three, four, five, or six consecutive races respectively. They’re challenging but offer the potential for substantial payouts.
  • Quinella: Similar to the Exacta, but with a Quinella, you’re betting on two horses to finish first and second in any order.

Other Types of Gambling in Oregon

Oregon betting options present a rich tapestry for enthusiasts. With a myriad of choices available, it’s essential to navigate wisely. Dive into our extensive collection of articles for a comprehensive overview of gambling in the state:

History of Oregon Race Tracks

Oregon’s history with horse racing is both rich and varied, tracing its roots back to the early days of the state. Over the years, several tracks dotted the Oregon landscape, attracting thousands of spectators keen to experience the thrill of live racing. Here’s a brief history of some of the significant Oregon race tracks that once existed in the Beaver State:

Portland Meadows: Once the crown jewel of Oregon horse racing and quarter horse racing, Portland Meadows opened in 1946 and was the state’s premier race track for decades. Located in North Portland, it boasted a winterized track, allowing for year-round racing. Over its illustrious history, the track hosted several significant events, but with dwindling attendance and competition from other forms of entertainment, it eventually closed its doors.

Portland Meadows torn down

Salem’s Fairgrounds Race Track: This track was known for its summer race meets, attracting large crowds, especially during the annual state fair. Operating primarily in the 20th century, it was a hub for both thoroughbred and standardbred racing in Oregon.

Multnomah Kennel Club: While primarily known for greyhound racing, Multnomah also occasionally showcased horse racing events. It was a popular venue, especially during its peak in the mid-20th century. However, with changing public sentiments towards greyhound racing and decreasing profits, the club ceased operations.

Union Race Track: Situated in Eastern Oregon, this track was known for its mix of horse racing and rodeo events, creating a unique blend of entertainment for its visitors. The racing events here were particularly popular in the summer months.

Fast forward to contemporary times, and there’s a resurgence in Oregon’s horse racing scene with the opening of Grants Pass Downs. As the state’s only currently operating race track, Grants Pass Downs is breathing new life into Oregon horse racing. 

Located at the Josephine County Fairgrounds, this facility started hosting pari-mutuel racing events in 1968. Inspired by local horse racing legend Don Jackson, the venue underwent several transformations and is now a symbol of hope and revival for the state’s horse racing enthusiasts.

Horse racing 2023

While many of Oregon’s historic race tracks have sadly closed their gates, the memories they created for countless individuals remain. The legacy of these tracks is evident in the state’s continued passion for horse racing, exemplified by the emergence and growth of Grants Pass Downs.

Oregon Gambling FAQ

Is Oregon horse racing legal?

Yes, horse racing is legal in Oregon. The Oregon Racing Commission (ORC) oversees all aspects of horse racing in the state, including licensing, regulation, auditing, and promoting responsible gambling.

Can I bet on horse races in other states?

Yes, you can bet on horse races in other states from Oregon. Oregon allows online horse racing betting through licensed horse betting sites and offshore racebooks.

How does Oregon ensure responsible gambling practices?

Oregon promotes responsible gambling through education, self-exclusion programs, and support services, aligning with varying gambling laws in the United States.

What’s the largest race track in Oregon?

Currently, the most significant active race track in Oregon is Grants Pass Downs. While historic venues like Portland Meadows were larger and held prominence for many decades, they have since closed. 

Can I bet on horse races online in Oregon?

In Oregon, online horse racing betting became legal in 1997. While the state permits this form of wagering, many residents also turn to safe and reliable bookmakers offshore for their pari-mutuel betting needs.

How can I bet on Oregon horse racing events?

Oregon offers several OTB locations for simulcast horse race betting. Online, numerous licensed sites accept bets from Oregon residents. If at an Oregon race track, you can bet directly after funding an on-site account.

What’s the minimum age to bet on horses in Oregon?

The minimum age to bet on horses in Oregon is 18 years old. This applies to all forms of horse racing betting, including in-person betting, online betting, and off-track betting.

How has Oregon responded to the repeal of PASPA in terms of sports betting legalization?

Oregon was one of the first states to respond to the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018 by legalizing sports betting. 

Is there assistance accessible for individuals dealing with gambling addiction in Oregon?

Oregon Problem Gambling Helpline: This is a free and confidential helpline that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The helpline can be reached at 1-800-468-4833. For further details, please check out www.opgr.org.

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