Iowa Horse Racing

Iowa Horse Racing

While horse racing has been a part of the culture of other states for the past century, horse racing did not become part of the landscape of Iowa until the 1980s when pari-mutuel wagering became legal. Horse racing was off to a rocky start in the state from the beginning when, after only a few years, Prairie Meadows filed for bankruptcy. Since the advent of expanded gaming in the state, the track has thrived with the addition of slot machines and casino games at its facility.

Iowa Race Tracks

Prairie Meadows

The track hosts both Quarter Horse and Thoroughbred racing. The Thoroughbred meet runs from the end of April to the middle of August and then the track switches over to the Quarter Horse season from August through October. There are three graded stakes races for Thoroughbreds over the course of their season including the Cornhusker Handicap, the Iowa Derby and the Iowa Oaks. All three races have Grade 3 status.

In addition to Quarter Horses and Thoroughbreds, the track also hosts a day of racing for exotic animals – Ostriches, Zebras and Camels – and that day is held in July. 

Bet Iowa Horse Racing Online!

If Prairie Meadows is too far away, you can still bet the Iowa Derby and other big races with an online betting account through an internet-based racebook.

* REMINDER! - you must be of legal age in your state or province to legally wager on thoroughbred or harness horse racing. Please bet responsibly!