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Lone Star Park Breeders' Cup Info

By Terence Dulay

2004 Breeders' Cup Logo

2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park

NTRA/Breeders' Cup Ltd.
Updated October 17, 2004
This year, for its 21st running, the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships goes to a new city and a new racetrack, Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie, Texas, located between Dallas and Fort Worth. Most racing fans will not have been to this racing facility if not the city, so it will be a welcome change of scenery from the regular rotation of locales. But with a new facility come many changes, which many regulars may not be accustomed to.

First of all, if you haven't gotten a ticket yet, you may already be out of luck as the event sold out months ago. If you're willing to splurge, you may be able to pick up your ducats from a ticket broker online or by phone, or from a scalper outside the gates on the day of the races. Scalping is legal in Texas so, unlike in other some other states where undercover police can and will confiscate the tickets and the money, you need only be wary of counterfeit tickets. You might also want to keep an eye on the horse racing forum as members unable to attend often unload their tickets at reasonable prices this way.

Despite what you may have heard from the whining press and horsemen (notably the Euros) about going to Texas, the weather in late October in Dallas is usually in the low to mid 70's with lows around 60, quite pleasant and much cooler than what we experienced at Santa Anita last year where the mercury pushed 100. Another bonus is that Dallas is quite dry in October so rain should not be an issue. Definitely check the local forecasts before you leave so you can pack appropriate clothing for the weather.

Being a small facility, there is very limited on-site parking and those scarce spaces have already been doled out to VIP's and to ticketholders who purchased their parking passes in advance. There will also be off-site parking lots with shuttle buses to take you to and from the track, but these also require passes purchased in advance. These are probably also sold out now, but you can try calling 972-263-RACE to purchase one.

Lone Star, like most racetracks, have ATM's conveniently located throughout the facility. However, to comply with Texas law which restricts ATM use on track property, the machines at Lone Star will not allow you to withdraw over $200 a day, nor will they allow you to withdraw from credit cards or savings accounts. Only withdrawals from checking accounts are permitted. So, with this in mind, you may want to obtain cash prior to arriving at Lone Star, either from an offsite ATM or from a bank or ATM at home. This also helps in another way, saving you from the long lineups that inevitably form at any ATM at a Breeders' Cup.

Speaking of lineups, Lone Star will have 1,200 to 1,300 wagering devices to be in service on race day, which works out to about one machine for every 40 customers. Which means you can and will get shut out if you think you can bet between races. The worst lineups are likely to form for the Turf and Classic. So, definitely consider betting the Championships either early in the card, or better yet, come to the track on Friday and take advantage of advance wagering.

With heightened security, Lone Star has a rather lengthy list of items that may not be brought onto the grounds, and you will be searched by security personnel upon entry. Refusal of this search, or if you are found carrying unlawful items, will be grounds for ejection from the facility. Prohibited items include: liquor, bottles of any kind, food or beverages, coolers, backpacks, carryall bags, large bags, containers, umbrellas, folding chairs or tables, animals, skateboards, bicycles, kites, rollerblades, weapons, or any item that Lone Star Park deems unlawful, dangerous or obnoxious. Exceptions are made only for handicap-assisting dogs and medications accompanied by official documentation.

So, again lineups will be the order of the day, as all these fans who aren't allowed to bring their own food and drink join the long lines at the concession stands. As we suggested for the betting windows, again, consider buying food and drink early so that you aren't missing a race while standing in line for a beer.

Given the small grandstand building and the temporary seating going all the way around both turns, we suspect access will be restricted as we saw at Arlington at 2002. That year, fans in the bleachers were not permitted in the main building nor in the paddock area. The booklet sent out to ticketholders have does not mention this at all, but it does give a full map of the facility, so you may actually be able to wander about and see the whole place. In any case, you can view a map of the entire grounds here and a seating diagram for the Breeders' Cup here.

Enjoy your trip to Texas for the World Thoroughbred Championships and may it be a profitable day at the windows on October 30th!

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