NJ Horse Racing Tracks

New Jersey has a long history of horse racing and is home to the greatest NJ horse racing tracks. In 1941, the state started offering pari-mutual wagering. However, the actual roots of horse racing in the state date back to 1853. It was then that the very first races ran at Freehold. In 1870, Monmouth Park became the next NJ horse racing track. Both of these are still operating today. With exciting NJ races being run throughout the year, you can enjoy a day at the races when you visit any of the reputable race tracks in NJ.

history of horse racing

Horse Racing Tracks in NJ

If you are a fan of horse races and horse racing betting, you will be pleased to learn there are some great race tracks in NJ that are operating. These locations are home to some thrilling races and also provide you with some amazing betting opportunities. Get ready to learn about the multiple NJ horse racing tracks that are open. Also, find out about some of the most popular races that take place.

The table below introduces the New Jersey horse racing tracks. There, you can pay a visit to watch some exciting races and place legal wagers. Even though there are just three operating tracks in the state, you will not have any shortage of action. These locations feature the best in thoroughbred and harness racing.

Name of TrackTypes of RacesMajor Events
Freehold RacewayHarness RacingCane Pace
Monmouth ParkThoroughbred RacingHaskell Invitational
Meadowlands Racing and EntertainmentHarness and ThoroughbredThe Hambletonian

These three NJ horse racing tracks provide endless action. You can enjoy some of the most popular events in the state. The Cane Pace is one of the more popular events in horse racing in NJ. It is the first leg in the Triple Crown of Harness Racing. Get ready to enjoy racing at it’s finest at these historic race tracks in NJ.

Freehold Raceway

The Freehold Raceway is the oldest and fastest half mile racing track in New Jersey and is home to the well-known Cane Pace event. The Raceway was first established in 1853 and now offers like Standardbred harness races. In addition to being able to engage in live horse racing betting, you can also wager on simulcast events year-round, so there are endless options if you are looking to enjoy the thrills of betting.

Monmouth Park

Monmouth Park offers the finest New Jersey horse racing and is home to thoroughbred races. Every August, the track hosts the $1 million Haskell Invitational, which draws thousands of spectators and bettors. You can also enjoy family-oriented events at the track as well as a picnic area and an arcade for younger visitors. Monmouth Park also offers some great dining options that include casual environments as well as upscale dining.


Meadowlands Racing started offering live harness racing in 1976 and this is where night-time racing became popular. The next year, this NJ horse racing track offered thoroughbred races. It is now famous for hosting the trotting event known as the Hambletonian.

Horse Racing Tracks in NJ

Main Racing Events in NJ

There are a number of great NJ Races running throughout the year. A few definitely stand out and these will attract the largest crowds and the most bettors. New Jersey horse racing has long been a top pastime for many and since you can legally engage in betting and can even enjoy the convenience of online betting, placing wagers on horse racing events has become even more popular. The main events that are discussed below are held at the leading NJ horse racing tracks and offer the chance to generate some amazing payouts.

United Nations Stakes

Monmouth Park hosts the United Nations Stakes each year and this is a Thoroughbred flat racing event for horses three years and older. The distance of the race is 11 furlongs and take places on a turf surface. Held in July, this is one of the top events for horse race betting and it offers a purse of $750,000. This popular race is part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and attracts thousands of bettors to one of the most popular horse race tracks in NJ.

Hambletonian Stakes

This is one of the major harness races in America and it is one of the more popular events from any of the race tracks in NJ. The event takes place on the first Saturday of August at the Meadowlands Racetrack. This annual event attracts the best three-year-old trotting standardbreds in the racing industry and it is a 1-mile race on a dirt track.

Haskell Invitational Handicap

This is another huge race at Monmouth Park running since 1968. The race features the very best three-year-old horses in the country and participants have to be invited to the event. This exciting race offers a massive purse of $1 million and $600,000 of that amount is reserved for the winner of the race. The Haskell Invitational is a contest that is between the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup and it is one of the most prominent contests in all of New Jersey.

Horse Racing Legality in New Jersey

If you are looking to enjoy a day at the races and engage in legal betting action New Jersey has some amazing options. At this time, there are three NJ horse racing tracks that are operational and all of these accept a variety of bets and provide the chance to wager on some of the greatest races in the state. All of the betting tracks are regulated by the New Jersey Racing Commission. The horse racing laws in the state have not changed much over the years. But in 2013 the state did make an adjustment, making it legal for one horse race each year to take place on a New Jersey beach.

In addition to being able to legally wager on races that are run at NJ horse racing tracks, you can also enjoy off-track betting at five different betting halls in the state. These include:

  • Favorites at Gloucester Township
  • Favorites at Toms River
  • Favorites at Vineland
  • Favorites at Woodbridge
  • Winners Bayonne

Online Horse Racing Options

While you have been able to visit NJ horse racing tracks for many years and engage in betting actions, you now have another great option if you are one that enjoys the thrills of racing. In 2018, New Jersey started to allow legal online sports betting. There are some great sportsbooks that are up and running in the state. These not only provide you a way to bet at a casino location but to also place wagers online.

Monmouth Park and Borgata in Atlantic City were the very first locations in the state to start accessing sports bets. Both of these offer exciting online betting options. Since legal sports betting has been approved in the state, many other venues have started operating online, offering you a variety of options when it comes to enjoying the races from the comforts of home.

The licensed and regulated online sportsbooks in New Jersey offer coverage of races that are run not only at the best race tracks in NJ but also at tracks from around the globe. This offers you the chance to wager on some of the highest paying races. And you can now choose to do it on a desktop or a mobile device. With legal sports betting online in NJ, you now have the ability to enjoy race action at all times and you can benefit from amazing odds and some of the best payouts in the betting industry when you access any of the top rated NJ online sportsbooks.

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