Yonkers Raceway Facts:
Yonkers Raceway is steeped in tradition. It opened at Empire City Trotting Club back in 1899. It is over one hundred years old. Yonkers Raceway was built at a cost of $780,000, which was a lot at that time. The track opened one cool September day and 12,000 horse racing fans rushed in to witness opening day. The excitement of the opening soon faded as one of the track owners, William H. Clark, died right after the 1899 season. The track went dark, save special occasions, over the next six years.
In 1907, the track reopened with thoroughbred racing. The track would continue to feature thoroughbred racing for decades to come. In 1940, pari-mutuel wagering was legalized and the track increased its revenue. As a result, a $600,000 expansion was planned. In 1943, harness racing makes its return. World War II interrupted smooth operations - as it did across the nation.
Finally, in 1950, the track had a new name - Yonkers Raceway. It was part of a huge renovation project to greatly improve the conditions at now Yonkers Raceway. In the mid 1950s, Yonkers Raceway became the first harness facility in the nation to go over a $2,000,000 handle in one single night. Yonkers Raceway also played a part in the formation of the Trotting Triple Crown. Yonkers Raceway topped itself again in 1962 when it became the first harness facility in the nation to have a handle of over $3,000,000 in one single night.
Cardigan Bay was the sport's first millionaire horse. At the age of 12, Cardigan Bay was retired at Yonkers Raceway. Good times continue to roll in at the track as the largest handle every in Yonkers Raceway is registered in 1969 at $3,220,686. In 1986, Yonkers Raceway began simulcasting horse racing betting from other venues around the country. In 1997, Yonkers Raceway underwent an extensive renovation project to continue its tradition as a top-notch horse racing venue. To this day Yonkers Raceway is home to great horse wagering action and is a widely respected track.