Home to the $1,500,000 Charles Town Classic and West Virginia Breeders Classics. Located outside of Charles Town, West Virginia.
Since it was founded in 1933, the race track at Charles Town has seen and made history. During its 75-plus-year run, the track has welcomed historicalfigures, teetered on the brink of collapse, and re-emerged as a premiere gaming and entertainment facility. Founded by Albert Boyle as The Shenandoah Jockey Club, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races became America’s first winter race meet upon theopening its doors in December of 1933. Boyle spent $160,000 - a huge sum during the height of the Depression - to build the facility. The Boyles had bet that Charles Town would draw crowds as the only northern track to hold races during the winter season, and they wereright. Even with freezing temperatures and odds being calculated by slide rule, the grandstand overflowed. Train service from Baltimore boostedattendance, and the track continued to thrive through World War II. Jockey Bill Hartack launched his Hall of Fame career at Charles Town in 1952. He rode 24 winners during the 19- day winter meet. He went on to win4,277 races, including the Kentucky Derby five times, the Preakness three times and the Belmont once. In 1960, the Charles Town grandstand and clubhouse were completely enclosed and heated. J. Edgar Hoover was a regular visitor to the track, and onApril 27, 1960, John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jackie, made an appearance at a democratic rally during his campaign for Presidency. More racing headlines were made in 1969 when19-year-old Barbara Jo Rubin rode into history at Charles Town, becoming the first female jockey to wina pari-mutuel race in the United States. Forty years later, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races would honor Rubin by inducting her into its RacingHall of Fame.
Penn National Gaming purchased the facility in 1997, and immediately began a $175,000,000 upgrade of the venue. Following the purchase by Penn National Gaming, new barns were built and old barns were repaired. Longshots, a multi-million dollar simulcast center, was unveiled in January 1998 and live racing was back on track. Over the following decade, Penn invested even more money with the addition of newgaming areas, an indoor parking garage, numerous dining options including the expansive Epic Buffet, and the Inn at Charles Town, which opened in the fall of 2008.