Atlantic City Race Course
The Atlantic City Race Course was created in 1944 using funding from a variety of celebrities, resulting in a glamorous inauguration for the track. Initial investors included Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope and other famous musicians, athletes and politicians. Early in its history, this venue hosted huge races, such as the United Nations Handicap, as well as some of the best thoroughbreds in the United States.
Atlantic City Horse Racing
The main track at the Atlantic City Race Course is a dirt oval that's 1 1/8th miles long with a width of 100 feet and a chute that's seven furlongs. The secondary track on the inner ring is a turf oval course one mile in length, also 100 feet in width.
Major Races and Events
The major races all take place during the All-Turf Festival that happens in late April. The festival features several days of races on the turf at a variety of distances. This festival leads up to the Tony Gatto Dream Big Stakes, which features the biggest purse for all the races in this gathering.
This race is the showpiece of the festival, running thoroughbreds three-years and older on the turf course at a distance of five furlongs. These stakes have the biggest purse of any race at the festival, offering prize money that's enriched with an extra contribution of $50,000. The 2014 edition is the 9th running of this race, now a staple at the Atlantic City Race Course.
Six Races Every Day on the Turf
The All-Turf Festival runs six races at varying distances each day of the event. Distances include 5 and 5.5 furlongs, 1 mile, 1 mile 40 yards, 1 1/16th miles and 1 1/8th miles on the turf. The daily average purse totals $129,533 per day and an average of about 10 horses run each race. During the 2010 season, the track witnessed four records set in three days, with Blue Sailor setting a mark of 0:55.27 for five furlongs, Saco River setting the mile record with a time of 1:36:05, Lighthouse Sound winning the mile and 40 yards record at 1:42.99 and a new record for 1 1/16th mile set by Entirely Honest with a time of 1:42.99.