Yonkers Raceway, founded in Yonkers, New York as early as 1899, saw the light as the Empire City Race Track. Considered a city landmark, it was opened by William H. Clark but when he died in 1900, it remained closed for seven years except for random special events, such as automobile racing, before it was bought by James Butler, a grocery store magnate.

With the reopening of the venue for Thoroughbred horse racing, it was a memorable win by Seabiscuit in 1936 for the Scarsdale Handicap at Empire City. After Butler’s death in 1934, the track was converted back to a harness track. It was later bought by William H. Cane’s Algam Corporation and converted to Yonkers Raceway. It was left in a state of disrepair until it was acquired by the Rooney family and turned to live harness racing.

Yonkers Raceway underwent a series of changes in the 90s decade, such as being used as a flea market, hosting the Westchester County Fair, and having its finish line relocated. Its grandstand was demolished and there was some serious consideration regarding its sale to the National Football League Jets, but an environmental impact statement was a strong deterrent for the idea, as there would not be enough political support for the new flow of traffic. It also had a sizeable renovation in high-tech slot machines, and video gaming machines. It casually opened with no mayor advertising and even then netted a $3.8 million revenue at the start. Interestingly enough, because the venue falls under state lottery laws, the minimum age allowed to play the slot machines is 18, unlike the other area casinos where it is 21.

Other changes included adding 66,000 square feet to the casino, and a porte-cochere sculptural entrance with a huge depiction of the New York City skyline made entirely of nails, a new gaming floor, and two new restaurants.

Yonkers was home to the Cane Pace, one of the legs of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Pacers; home to the Yonkers Trot, one of the legs of the Triple Crown of Harness Racing for Trotters; and home to the Messenger. These were moved to different racetracks later on. In November 2006, the Yonkers Raceway ran both the Yonkers Trot and the Messenger on the same day, becoming the first harness track in America to host two Triple Crown races in one day.

Notable stakes races include: George Morton Levy Memorial Pacing Series, Blue Chip Matchmaker, Art Rooney Pace, among others.

BETMANIA players can find Yonkers Raceway Betting Odds on competing horses, including popular horse racing bet types such as Win/Place/Show, Exactas, Trifectas, Superfectas and many more. Visit our racebook to learn more about the available bet options and other popular race tracks.

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Yonkers Raceway Facts:

  • Racecourse type: American Standardbred & Harness (dirt)
  • Location: Yonkers, New York
  • Purse: N/A
  • Venue Capacity: N/A
  • Track length: 0.5 miles.
  • Important track records: (2007) Final of the Art Rooney Pace, won by Southwind Lynx, was the richest race in Yonkers history, with a $1 million purse.