The history of horse racing in the State of Louisiana, located in the southern region of the USA, can be traced back to the mid-1800s with the Fair Grounds Race Course first opening in 1852 as the Union Race Course. This historic race course in New Orleans hosts, among others, the Louisiana Derby, New Orleans Handicap, Silverbulletday Stakes and Bayou Breeders' Cup Handicap. With more than 15,000 horse racing enthusiasts present for the opening of Harrah's Louisiana Downs Race Track in 1974, the track has continued to provide a vibrant venue for horse racing action in Louisiana's Bossier City. Other race tracks in Louisiana include Evangeline Downs in Opelousas, and Delta Downs in Vinton.
The Louisiana Racing Commission was formed in 1940 to eradicate corrupt, incompetent, unprincipled horse racing practices and continues to ensure that racing and wagering takes place according to set rules and regulations that all race tracks in Louisiana must agree to and comply with.