Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie opened its 25th anniversary season with Rhythm.
In the marquee event on Opening Night at Lone Star Park last Thursday, Heavenly Rhythm, which went off as a 20-1 choice, rallied to win the Bluebonnet Stakes against a tough field of Texas-bred fillies and mares.
That’s the type of excitement Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie promises throughout its 2022 season for its Texas-style horse racing.
However, betting at the horse tracks is not only allowed in Texas, it’s encouraged.
The taxman provides
Trainers and jockeys have hailed the improved conditions and fields at Lone Star Park since the Texas Legislature approved a tax on horse feed and products that’s then funneled back into the industry.
“Texas racing has revitalized since they passed that bill,” said trainer Austin Gustafson, who won 24 races in 2021 at Lone Star. “We’re excited. Things are really looking up.”
What the increased revenue has done is draw more Texas horsemen to bring their best horses to compete for bigger purses.
Lone Star said it will pay out $12.8 million over the 48-date meet.
Legendary trainer Steve Asmussen lives near Lone Star and has won the last two trainer titles. Asmussen is currently with Epicenter at the Kentucky Derby, hoping to win his first Derby crown. Asmussen won 71 races last year at Lone Star.
According to five-time Lone Star champion trainer and owner Karl Broberg:
“The quality has improved dramatically in a short period of time, regardless of the caliber of the race . You’re seeing old faces that had abandoned Lone Star come back as well as new faces. People are just running their better stock there, as opposed to the lesser stock that they were able to get away with for those who had split stables.”
Jockey Stewart Elliott is the defending champion rider. He is coming off a fine meet at Sam Houston where he won a meet-best 62 races.
Special days during 25th Anniversary season
To mark its 25th anniversary season, Lone Star Park has special events planned throughout the meet.
Texas fans can root for Asmussen during the Kentucky Derby simulcast on Saturday, May 7. The Preakness (May 21) and Belmont Stakes (Jun. 11) will also be simulcast.
There are Dollar Days planned for May 14 and May 16.
Everyone loves wiener dog races. Those are May 22. Extreme racing days (camels and zebras) come Jun. 25 and Jun. 26. No one does fireworks like Texas, and Lone Star will have a fireworks extravaganza Jul. 3 and Jul. 4.
Memorial Day is the marquee day for racing, with a monster card of six stakes races to create the Lone Star Million. This day includes the $400,000 Steve Sexton Mile, the $300,000 Texas Derby and the inaugural $100,000 Speightstown Sprint for three-year-olds. This is named for the 2004 Breeders Cup sprint winner.
There is also Lone Star Showcase Day on June 19, the Summer Turf Festival on Jul. 16 followed by Stars of Texas Day the next day.
How to get to Lone Star Park
Lone Star Park’s 25th Anniversary meet runs now through Jul. 24.
Post times on Thursdays and Fridays are 6:35 p.m., and 1:35 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays.
Lone Star Park is a half-mile north of I-30 on Beltline Road at 1000 Lone Star Parkway in Grand Prairie, about 15 minutes west of Dallas.
General parking is free and available at Gates 2 and 3. Preferred parking is through Gate 4 and valet parking available at Gate 5. General admission is $5 every live racing day, but Kentucky Derby day is $10. Reserved seating runs from $5 to $40