I was invited to a media party at Lone Star Park for their Opening Night and anniversary party to celebrate their 20th season of horse racing. I had never been to Lone Star Park before so I was excited to check it out and learn about something new - how to "play the ponies".
Since gambling takes place at Lone Star Park I was a little surprised that the invitation said that my whole family was welcome to attend. I wasn't sure my kids would enjoy it but Rachel got all dressed up for the event and both kids were in awe of the whole concept of Valet Parking.
The gates open at 4:30 but the first race wasn't scheduled to post until about 6:30. We arrived around 6:00 just in time to watch some of the opening ceremonies and get a feel for the land.
The media party was in the Hall of Fame suite on the 7th floor. The view of the races was just amazing and we were right on the finish line!
In case you want to see the action a little more close up, there are big screens to watch the race in a little more detail.
The race winners and final odds were posted on the board at the end of each race.
We all enjoyed watching the horses and trying to guess who would win. We were not gambling at this point. We still had to figure out how all of that worked.
Rodney works at Lone Star Park and he did a great job of explaining how the betting works. There is a whole lot more to it than I expected but you really can keep it super simple if you want to. We chose horses by their cool names like Rise to Greatness. Betting on a Win is simply a bet that the horse will win first place. Easy peasy.
There are lots of other ways to be though like Place, Show, Across the Board, Daily Double, and Exacta. Each horse only races once and you can look up information about them in the race program.
You can place a bet for as little as $2.00. Although minors can not place bets, they sure can have some fun by helping Mommy pick a horse to bet on. My kids had a great time.
We made our way down to the ground level to watch the last few races from there.
It was great seeing the horses right in front of us as they crossed the finish line!
Once the races were complete, we headed over to the paddocks to watch the horses come in, have their saddles removed, and get a bite to eat.
Lone Star Park is a fun, family friendly outing. General admission is only $5.00 and you don't have to bet a thing to still have a good time.
About Lone Star Park: Lone Star Park is located at 1000 Lone Star Parkway in Grand Prairie, Texas. All ages are welcome but you must be 21 or older to place a wager. Advance reservations for reserved seating and dining may be made by calling (972) 263-PONY or 1-800-795-RACE.
2017 BIG EVENT DATES:
Kentucky Derby Day – Saturday, May 6
Preakness Stakes Day – Saturday, May 20
Memorial Day Monday – Monday, May 29
Belmont Stakes Day – Saturday, June 10
Lone Stars & Stripes Fireworks Celebration – Monday, July 3 and Tuesday, July 4
Breeders’ Cup Day – Saturday, November 4