Northfield Park Horse Racing Track in Ohio
Rated as one of the country’s premier harness racing facilities, Northfield Park has the distinction of offering year-round live harness racing. Races usually take place on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays but you should check ahead before heading out to the track. Northfield Park also has full-card simulcasting which continues on an almost year-round basis.
Northfield Park was originally built in 1934 and was named ‘Sportsman Park’. While it was meant to serve as a greyhound track, the concept never really caught on and the track was converted for midget car racing when it track came under new ownership. It enjoyed 20 years of motor racing success before interest began to fade and the original Sportsman Park facilities were demolished to make way for the Northfield Park harness racing track. At this stage, Northfield Park was the third track in the state and as such it was included in a racing circuit. It was opened in 1957 by the late Walter J. Michaels who wanted to expand the existing racing season. Michaels was a prominent standardbred breeder and so the development of the track served his purposes well. In 1972, the racetrack was sold to Carl Milstein who kept the facility working by leasing it to outside operators. When Carl Milstein passed away, his son Brock took an active role in the operation of the track. Together with a small team, Brock Milstein has managed to elevate the track to its current status today. Northfield Park is currently the only remaining commercial harness track in Northeast Ohio.
The track is half a mile in length and oval in shape with a 440-foot homestretch on the one side. The homestretch is 80 feet wide and there is a passing lane. There is no hubrail, and instead Northfield Park has a Eurorail pylon configuration which is deemed to be safer than the traditional hubrail. The most popular race to be held at the park is ‘The Battle of Lake Erie’ which usually draws about 10,000 people to the raceway. The race pits the best free-for-all pacers in the country against each other for an impressive $150,000 purse. It’s a not-to-be-missed harness racing spectacular!