Centennial Race Track was situated in the city of Littleton, Colorado, and held its inaugural meeting on 4th July 1950. The first inklings of a racecourse in the area were mooted in 1948 when Colorado passed the Pari-mutuel Act allowing tote pool betting. This caused a flurry of would be investors to invest in a race track and the Colorado Racing Commission supported the Mile High Kennel Club in developing a race track which they hoped to name Colourful Downs. In the event they went for the less colourful, more regal Centennial Turf Club. At the inaugural meeting a crowd in excess of 10,000 entered the turnstiles and the future looked bright. It boasted a 200 acre site and was so popular at one stage that it could offer 60 days of racing annually.  The 8 furlong oval course, with separate 6 furlong and 10 furlong chutes, had a 302 metre home straight and had, as its feature race, the Gold Rush Futurity. The track owners had huge ambitions, but a number of events conspired against them. They hoped to hold a leg of the Triple Crown at the track, but few owners and trainers offered their support and did not wish to send their horses such a huge distance. In 1965 the flooding of the Platte River led to the death of over 25 horses from the track and proved to be another setback. Even though the owners tried all forms of racing, including harness racing and night meetings, the crowds were insufficient to make racing pay. In 1981 the track was the first to offer a closed-circuit running of the Kentucky Derby and a sizeable crowd turned up to support the venture. But within two years the track had closed. The final meeting took place on 6th November 1983 and the land was sold and has now been developed, the grandstand being demolished on 30th January 1984 prior to building commencing.

 I am grateful to our American Racing Correspondent Richard Gauthier for the rare scans shown below.

If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email johnwslusar@gmail.com