Originally to be known as Waterford Downs, the track's parent company was incorporated in 1937. The effort was led by Al Boyle, president of the Charles Town Races, who named it after his family's ancestral home of Waterford, Ireland. The track was purchased by Bill Blair and renamed as Mountaineer Park in 1987.
The track was purchased by Bill Blair and renamed as Mountaineer Park in 1987. In 1992, Blair sold the track to California-based Excalibur Holding Co. for $4 million cash plus $2.7 million in stock. The track was authorized to have slot machines and installed them in 1994. Excalibur was renamed Winners Entertainment, then renamed MTR Gaming Group. With the revenue that a casino of 3,200 slots, table games, and a hotel resort provides, the track is able to offer very good purses.
Mountaineer's image is further enhanced by nationwide coverage of the track's West Virginia Derby, a Grade II race that has significantly grown in stature and purse in the past decade. The first Saturday in August traditionally has been the day the Derby takes place, and is the only day of the calendar that the track offers afternoon racing. Otherwise, the races are run at night, at 7 p.m. (Eastern Time).
The track has a main dirt track with a one mile oval. The turf course is seven furlongs long and inside the dirt. The track is curved slightly in the front stretch.