CENTENNIAL RACECOURSE

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 Parimutuel 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.

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

   

 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 100 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, th crowds were insufficient to make racing pay. In 1981 the track were 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.

If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email johnslusar@fsmail.net