Texas Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in TX

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

Hero image

Texas is renowned for its rich equestrian history and offers a variety of tracks that cater to both seasoned bettors and newcomers alike. Fortunately for you, Texas law permits pari mutuel betting on both live and simulcast horse races. Whether you prefer live races or simulcasting, Texas provides ample opportunities for you to enjoy this pastime.

Most Popular Texas Race Tracks

Retama Park

Address: 1 Retama Parkway, Selma, Texas 78154
Phone: 210-651-7000

Retama Park, a gem in the heart of Texas, is a must-visit destination for horse racing enthusiasts. Opened in 1995, this one-mile racetrack hosts both thoroughbred and quarter horse racing from July to September. With iconic races such as the Retama Park Derby and Texas Summer Showdown, you’re sure to witness some of the most exciting events in the sport.

Retama Park

Simulcast wagering is available all year round, and you can even place bets from your phone using their app, allowing you to bet anywhere in the park. General admission is just $7, and children aged 12 and under get in free. For dining, you can enjoy a meal at the Clubhouse 95 Sports Bar & Grill or the Terrace Dining Room. After a thrilling day of racing, unwind with a drink at the Double Deuce.

Sam Houston Race Park

Address: 7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, Texas 77064
Phone: 281-807-8700

Sam Houston Race Park, located in Houston, is a premier destination for Texas horse racing. From January to May, you can witness thoroughbred, Arabian, and quarter horse races. The one-mile racetrack, with its 30,000 seats, offers an exciting atmosphere.

Sam Houston Race Park

You can place various types of bets including Win, Place, Show, Parlay, Quinella, and Superfecta. Simulcast wagering is also available throughout the year. For a superior viewing experience, consider the luxury suites, counter-seats, finish line boxes, or the players’ lounge. 

When hunger strikes, head to the Winner’s Circle Experience for a weekend lunch with a fantastic view of the track. Don’t miss popular races such as the Sam Houston Derby and the Star of Texas Stakes.

Lone Star Park

Address: 1000 Lone Star Parkway, Grand Prairie, Texas 75050
Phone: 972-263-7223

Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, offers live thoroughbred betting from April to May, while September to November brings quarter horse racing. The one-mile racetrack, with its six-level, 1,500-seat grandstand, offers a fantastic view.

Lone Star Park

You have a variety of betting options, including Win, Place, Show, Parlay, Quinella, and Superfecta. Plus, you can participate in simulcast wagering all year round. Don’t miss popular races like the Bluebonnet Stakes, Steve Sexton Miles, and the Texas Derby.

Gillespie County Fair

Address: 530 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, Texas 78624
Phone: 830-997-2359

At Gillespie County Fair in Texas, you can experience live thoroughbred and quarter horse racing from July to August. The 5/8-mile racetrack, with a grandstand that can accommodate 1,500 spectators and 516 boxes, offers an impressive view of the races. You can try your luck with a variety of bets, including Win, Place, Show, Parlay, Quinella, and Superfecta.

Gillespie County Fair

For just $10, you can gain general admission, and children under 5 enter free. Enjoy four weekends of live Texas horse racing on the Class III track. The Race Barn, open from Thursday to Sunday, offers simulcast wagering on 30 screens, along with casual dining and a full bar.

Valley Race Park

Address: 2601 S Ed Carey Drive, Harlingen, Texas 78552
Phone: 956-412-7223

At Valley Race Park, with a 91,000 square-foot venue set on 80 acres, this park offers a vast 6,000-seat racetrack where you can place bets such as Win, Place, Show, Parlay, Quinella, and Superfecta.

Valley Race Park

Enjoy the convenience of terraced and table seating, while savoring a delicious meal at the Clubhouse restaurant. Take advantage of the bar, party rooms, and top-level party and banquet rooms that can accommodate up to 30 guests. With simulcast betting also available, there’s something for everyone.

List of All Texas Race Tracks

Here’s a comprehensive list of all Texas race tracks.

RacetrackAddressPhone NumberBetting Allowed?
Retama Park1 Retama Pkwy, Selma, TX 78154210-651-7000Yes
Sam Houston Race Park7575 North Sam Houston Pkwy W, Houston, TX 77064281-807-8700Yes
Lone Star Park1000 Lone Star Pkwy, Grand Prairie, TX 75050972-263-7223Yes
Gillespie County Fair530 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, TX 78624830-997-2359Yes
Gulf Coast Race Track Bet By The Bay5302 Leopard St, Corpus Christi, TX 78408361-289-9333Yes
Valley Race Park2601 S Ed Carey Dr, Harlingen, TX 78552956-412-7223Yes

Simulcast Wagering in Texas

As a betting enthusiast in Texas, you’ll be delighted to know that simulcast wagering is completely legal in the Lone Star State. With this, you have the opportunity to place your bets on horse races happening across the country, right from the comfort of your local facility. Texas boasts several off-track betting locations, each offering a unique wagering experience.

Betting LocationAddress
Lone Star Park1000 Lone Star Pkwy, Grand Prairie, TX 75050
Sam Houston Race Park7575 North Sam Houston Parkway West, Houston, TX 77064
Retama Park1 Retama Parkway, Selma, TX 78154
Gillespie County Fair530 Fair Drive, Fredericksburg, TX 78624
Gulf Coast Race Track Bet By The Bay5302 Leopard Street, Corpus Christi, TX 78408
Valley Race Park2601 S Ed Carey Drive, Harlingen, TX 78552

Popular Horse Races in Texas with Dates

As a Texas horse racing enthusiast, you’ll be pleased to see the below list of popular horse races taking place. Check out this list to discover some must-attend Texas horse racing events.

Horse RacesRacing DatesWhere to Bet
My Dandy StakesJanuarySam Houston Race Park
Darby’s Daughter StakesJanuarySam Houston Race Park
Houston Ladies Classic – Grade IIIJanuarySam Houston Race Park
John B. Connally Turf Cup – Grade IIIJanuarySam Houston Race Park
Bob Bork Texas Turf MileJanuarySam Houston Race Park
Groovy StakesJanuarySam Houston Race Park
Houston Turf StakesFebruarySam Houston Race Park
Star of Texas StakesMarchSam Houston Race Park
Spirit of Texas StakesMarchSam Houston Race Park
Texas Thoroughbred Association OaksMarchSam Houston Race Park
Texas Thoroughbred Association DerbyMarchSam Houston Race Park
Sires’ Cup FuturityAprilRetama Park
Bluebonnet StakesAprilLone Star Park
Retama Park DerbyJulyRetama Park
TQHA Sale FuturityJulyRetama Park
Texas Arabian Derby & OaksAugustRetama Park

Types of Legal Horse Betting in Texas

In Texas, from simple bets like Win, Place, and Show, to more complex ones like Daily Double, Quinella, Superfecta, Trifecta, and Pick 3, there’s something for every level of betting enthusiast.

You can place your bets on a range of horse breeds, including thoroughbreds and quarter horses, each offering unique strengths and racing styles. Moreover, you can indulge in different types of races such as thoroughbred, quarter horse, and Arabian racing.

This diverse betting landscape in Texas provides an engaging experience, whether you’re a seasoned bettor or just dipping your toes into the exciting world of horse racing.

Other Types of Gambling in Texas

Learn all about Texas gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of Texas Horse Racing

In 1933, pari mutuel wagering was legalized, but this was short-lived as it was repealed in 1937. The landscape of Texas horse racing began to change in 1940 when the American Quarter Horse Association was established. In 1986, the Texas Racing Act was passed into legislature, and a year later, pari mutuel wagering was legalized again through a public vote. The Texas Racing Commission was then created to oversee live racing events and monitor wagering.

The Racing Act also called for a portion of horse racing wagers to fund equine research. This led to the establishment of the Texas Equine Research Account Advisory Committee (TERAAC) in 1991 to evaluate proposals for equine research and facilitate communication among equine scientists and the horse racing industry. However, TERAAC was abolished in 2011.

In 2012, Saddle Brook Park was given the green light to open a temporary location for simulcast wagering. Since 2000, Advance deposit wagering has been prohibited in Texas in an attempt to combat the declining horse racing industry, as tracks struggle to maintain attendance. In 2017, a bill (HB3926) was introduced to amend the Texas Racing Act to allow online betting sites. Despite garnering support, the bill died in committee.

Despite the challenges, the horse racing industry in Texas continues to persevere, remaining an integral part of the state’s culture and history. The PASPA: Sports Protection Act of 1992, which outlawed sports betting nationwide, did not impact horse racing in Texas, as it was exempt from the law. This has allowed the industry to continue to thrive and evolve over the years.

Texas Gambling FAQ

Is Texas horse racing legal?

US gambling laws by state differ, but horse racing is perfectly legal in Texas. The Texas Racing Act, passed in 1986, legalized pari mutuel wagering through a public vote. This means you can legally participate in and enjoy horse racing in Texas.

Can I bet on horse races in other states?

Yes, you can bet on horse races from other states. This is made possible through a practice known as simulcasting. Simulcasting allows you to watch and wager on races that are taking place in different locations, including other states. You can enjoy and bet on horse races from across the country without leaving your home state.

What’s the largest race track in Texas?

The largest horse race track in Texas is the Sam Houston Race Park in Houston. It’s a premier racing, dining, and entertainment destination in the region. The park features a spacious grandstand and a suite level with luxury suites for viewing the races.

Can I bet on horse races online in Texas?

No, unfortunately, you cannot bet on horse races online in Texas. The state’s laws currently do not permit online horse racing betting. This means you’ll need to be physically present at a racetrack or licensed off-track betting location in Texas to place your bets. Always ensure to comply with local laws and regulations when it comes to betting activities.

How can I bet on Texas horse racing events?

You can place your bets in person at Texas race tracks, which provides an exciting, immersive experience. Many Texas race tracks also offer mobile betting apps that you can use while you’re at the event. Additionally, simulcasting allows you to bet on live races from other locations, broadening your betting options. Always remember to practice responsible gambling.

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

In Texas, you must be at least 21 years old to place a bet on horse races. This minimum gambling age applies whether you’re betting in person at a racetrack or a licensed off-track betting location. Remember, it’s important to gamble responsibly.

Stay Ahead of the Game

Are you ready to take your online gambling experience to the next level? Sign up for the LetsGambleUSA newsletter and get the latest news, exclusive offers, and expert tips delivered straight to your inbox.