Charles Town Races & Slots is a horse racing and gaming complex in Charles
Town, West Virginia. It has a six furlong horse track that features live
Charles Town Races is one of the region’s fastest growing entertainment
and gaming destinations. Aside from offering some of the best thoroughbred
racing action in West Virginia, it also offers slots and sweepstakes attractions.
Charles Town Races is the home of the famous West Virginia Breeders’ Classic.
This showcases top state bred horses in a series of stakes races.
It also hosts some of the most prestigious stakes racing events in the state.
Among these are:
- Charles Town Dash
- Shenandoah Stakes
- Robert G. Leavitt Memorial Stakes
- Sadie Hawkins Stakes
- Frank Gall Memorial Stakes
- West Virginia Futurity Stakes
The track has recently undergone an extensive restoration. It now has a new
racing surface, banked turns, new high-tech lighting and a major-league stadium
style drainage system designed to reduce cancellations caused by bad weather.
Since taking over the track in 1997, Penn National Gaming has renovated the
Grandstand and barns, built jockey quarters and a new paddock. The number of
race dates was increased from 210 to 260, while the number of races per day
increased from nine to as many as 12.
Furthermore, purses have grown from $22,000 per day to an average of $200,000,
and the number of horse owners and trainers has grown from 2,400 to 13,000.
from last turn to finish line
- Charles Town opened on December 2. At the time of its opening, it
was the only operating track in America.
- The Charles Town grandstand and clubhouse were completely enclosed
- On April 27, Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy and his wife,
Jackie, made an appearance for a Democratic Party rally held at the track
during the campaign.
- Charles Town race track was sold to Shenandoah Corporation. Year-round
racing in Shenandoah Downs was then moved to Charles Town. Shenandoah Downs
is still used as a training track.
- Sunday racing was introduced.
- The West Virginia Breeders Classics was started by football Hall-of-Famer,
Sam Huff. The races of this prestigious event are still run on the track each
year and showcase the top state bred horses in a series of stakes races.
- Penn National Gaming Inc. bought the racetrack.
- Longshots, the multi-million dollar simulcast center, was unveiled
- Extensive renovation was undertaken on the track.