Remington Park, Oklahoma’s premier horse racing and casino entertainment venue, was built by the late Edward J. DeBartolo Sr., the shopping mall developer. He also owned Thistledown in Cleveland, Ohio, and Louisiana Downs in Bossier City, Louisiana. Remington Park officially opened on September 1, 1988 and conducted its first American Quarter Horse season of racing in the summer of 1989.
Remington Park has long been associated with championship racing with superstars routinely beginning their careers here while others found their top strides as older horses in Oklahoma City. Legendary runners like Refrigerator, Junos Request, Winalota Cash, SLM Big Daddy, Tailor Fit, Cold Cash 123, Jess Good Candy, Jessies First Down, and many others have all established major stakes scores at Remington Park on their way to championship status.
The Quarter Horse racing season is in the first half of the year, normally beginning in early March and concluding by early June. The earlier start makes Remington Park a priority destination for horsemen attempting to find the next millionaire futurity horse and to ready their stables for rich racing opportunities in the second half of the year.
Trying times for horse racing in Oklahoma had Remington Park on the brink of closure in the early 2000s. The great people of Oklahoma overwhelmingly passed State Question 712 in the November elections of 2004, allowing for Remington Park to embrace casino gaming and to have a more level playing field for the entertainment gambling dollar in the state. Opening on November 21, 2005, the Remington Park Casino expanded the track’s business, drastically increased horsemen’s purse accounts, provided millions in new revenue to the state, and secured the future of horse racing and breeding operations in Oklahoma for generations to come.
Remington Park is home to the first million-dollar futurity every year. The Heritage Place Futurity reached million-dollar status for the first time in 2008 and is conducted on the final day of the season yearly. The Remington Park Futurity and Remington Park Derby became events for Oklahoma-breds in 2011 and quickly developed into the richest state-bred race series in America.
Newfound success led to new ownership for Remington Park when Global Gaming RP, a subsidiary of the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma, purchased the facility in 2009 and began operations full time in 2010. Owned for the first time by an Oklahoma entity, Remington Park experienced a reinvention with interior and exterior makeovers for the property, something that had not happened since the original opening. Restaurant partnerships were formed to bring name-brand dining opportunities to the facility. The up-close racing experience was enhanced with the plaza near the racetrack receiving aesthetic waterfalls and garden features and a fifty-foot-tall, high-definition super screen to offer everyone a better view of the action.