Renowned for its Texas hospitality and elegance, Lone Star Park staged one of the most successful racetrack openings in modern horse racing history. The first live race meeting began in April, 1997, one decade after Texas re-legalized pari-mutuel racing following a 50-year hiatus. Since then, more than 15 million customers have passed through its turnstiles and wagered in excess of $3 billion.
With an average of about one million customers annually, Lone Star is one of the most visited sports and entertainment venues in the ultra-competitive Dallas-Fort Worth marketplace, thanks to its convenient location (12 miles west of Dallas, 20 miles east of Fort Worth and minutes south of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport).
Traditionally, two live racing seasons – the Spring Thoroughbred Season and Fall Meeting of Champions – are showcased each year, along with daily simulcast wagering and other entertainment-based events.
The picturesque 285-acre facility, built by the City of Grand Prairie and Lone Star Jockey Club, and later acquired by Global Gaming Solutions in 2011, is anchored by a palatial, 290,000 square-foot, glass-enclosed grandstand that stands seven levels high, complete with plush box seats, a terraced dining room, luxury suites, a private Jockey Club and a 10,000 square-foot banquet room. A horseplayer’s dream sits next door: the Bar & Book, a state-of-the-art 36,000 square-foot Las Vegas-style simulcast center, sports bar and casual dining restaurant that was completely updated and renovated in 2011 for year-round wagering. Outdoor facilities include apron box seating and a sun-shaded Courtyard of Champions, complete with patio tables and a lawn area.
Because of its attractions and early success, Lone Star was host to the 21st Breeders’ Cup just seven years after it opened. Visitors flocked to the championship event with attendance reaching 53,717, thanks to 39,000 temporary seats and the fastest sellout in Breeders’ Cup history. Four major Breeders’ Cup wagering records fell that day, including $120.8 million in all-sources handle.
A total of 76 live racing dates are scheduled for 2013, including the 50-date Spring Thoroughbred Season from April 11–July 6. In addition to large fields and $140,000 in average daily purses, there will be 11 stakes events totaling more than $1.1 million. Highlights of the 13-week meeting include two Grade III stakes: the $200,000 Texas Mile on April 26 and the $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap on Memorial Day, May 27.
Racing is conducted Thursday – Sunday. The first race is at 6:35 p.m. CT on weeknights and 1:35 p.m. CT on weekends and holidays, with a special 5 p.m. CT first post on July 3 and 4. Later in the year, the Fall Quarter Horse Meeting will be held over 26 dates from September 13–November 9.
Lone Star has a one-mile dirt track with seven-furlong and 15/8-mile chutes, and a seven-furlong turf course with an inside chute for races up to 11/8 miles. The spacious barn area has 32 barns that can stable 1,600 horses.