Bowie Race Track

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Covered Horse Bridge at Bowie Race Track

The Bowie Race Track was a horse racing track located just outside the city limits of Bowie, Maryland. The one mile oval racetrack, known as Prince George's Park, was opened October 1, 1914 under the auspices of the Southern Maryland Agricultural Society.[1] A major attraction in the area, easy access for racetrack patrons was available from the WB&A Railroad which ran trains every five minutes from the Liberty Street Station in Baltimore for which they charged 65¢ for a round-trip ticket. Admission to the grounds and grandstand was $1.00.[2]

The track was a natural addition to the area, home to the Belair Stud Farm, founded by Samuel Ogle and credited as the "Cradle of American thoroughbred racing."

In the 1950s, Bowie Race Track was a pioneer of winter racing. Some of the races inaugurated at the Bowie track include:

News events[edit]

Following America's involvement in World War II, the racetrack was closed from 1943 into 1945.

On March 9, 1955, officials discovered a cabin cruiser floating on the track's infield lake . No one knew how it got there.[3]

During the night of January 31, 1966 a fire burned down five barns at the track that took the lives of at least 43 horses.[4]

End of racing[edit]

Competition from new racing operations such as Keystone Race Track (later known as Philadelphia Park and then Parx Racing) in Bensalem, Pennsylvania ultimately led to the demise of the Bowie Race Track which ceased racing operations on July 14, 1985.[5] The track now serves as a training center for Thoroughbred racehorses. The track and training facility is now owned by MI Developments Inc. (MID).[6]


  1. ^ New York Times - September 21, 1914
  2. ^ Baltimore Sun - October 2, 1914
  3. ^ Baltimore Sun - November 27, 2010
  4. ^ Hartford Courant - Hartford Courant - February 1, 1966
  5. ^ July 14, 1985 New York Times article titled Bowie Race Course Closes
  6. ^ "34th Annual Bowie Heritage Day on May 19th Celebrates Grand Opening of the Newly Restored Belair Stable Museum, Cradle of American Thoroughbred Racing" (PDF), Bowie Spotlight, City of Bowie: 1, 2, May–June 2002, archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-11-01

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 39°00′20″N 76°44′21″W / 39.00556°N 76.73917°W / 39.00556; -76.73917