The Sam Houston Race Park in Houston, Texas, was the first horseracing track to open in 1994 after Texas began allowing pari-mutuel betting on races. It still shines not only as the most popular track in the state, but also the fast-growing track in America.
Each year the track holds two meets. The first is the Thoroughbred event, beginning in January and running through early March. From mid-March through mid-May, the track hosts Quarter Horse racing. Many graded stakes races, both for Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, are held during these meets. The most prestigious race, which also boasts the highest guaranteed purse, is the $400,000 Houston Ladies Classic, a Grade III stakes race for Thoroughbred fillies and mares.
In addition to Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, other breeds of horses race at Sam Houston as well. Each year the track offers the Amethyst Jewel, a Grade I race for Arabian Horses. Races for American Paint Horses are also run.
The track has always provided a great selection of other events for patrons when the live racing meets have concluded. These include year-round simulcasts of OTB (off-track betting) featuring horseraces from around the world, as well as live music concerts, fine dining at two restaurants, and a variety of special events.
Among the activities that should be noted is Dog Day at the Track, which encourages patrons to bring their dogs to the park. Several amateur dog races are held between the live horse races. There are also the Food Truck Festival and the Guitars and Cars Auto Show.
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