Crete, IL --- Balmoral Park, one of the nation’s premier harness racing tracks, turns 85 years old this week and with that is planning a spectacular celebration.
While the actual first race at Balmoral Park (then Lincoln Fields) took place on August 9, 1926, the track has planned an amazing celebration for Saturday, August 13.
“This is a milestone not only for us but for the community and the industry as well,” noted Mike Belmonte, General Manager of the track. “Eighty-five years in business at the same location; that says a lot about the excitement of horse racing. This kind of excitement transcends generations. Other sports ebb and flow in popularity but for us to be here for 85 years and still be drawing thousands of people each night we race? That’s powerful stuff.”
Fans are encouraged to come out on Saturday, August 13, and enjoy a myriad of promotions including:
Balmoral Park has hosted both harness and thoroughbred racing throughout its rich history, yet today it is exclusively a harness track. In addition to the impressive variety of celebrities that have visited the track over the years (Amelia Earhart, Mike Ditka, Al Capone, Jack Dempsey, Oak Ridge Boys) Balmoral Park continues to thrive in today’s competitive racing scene, having provided the racing world with two of its top current stars -- driver Tim Tetrick and horse St Elmo Hero, who earlier this year won 25 straight races across both the United States and Canada.
Currently, Balmoral Park is home to some of racing’s biggest stakes races such as Super Night (September 17) where Illinois-bred horses compete for over $1 million in purse money and American-Nationals (November 12) which draw the best horses from around the continent.
“Saturday is going to be a lot of fun for fans who have been coming week in and week out, as well as fans who may not have been here in a while,” says Belmonte. “Live horse racing, free parking, free admission, 85 cent hot dogs and sodas downstairs, prime rib and crab legs in the Dining Room, hay rides, raffles…how can you not have a good time?”