Blue Ribbon Downs Horse Racing Track in Oklahoma
Blue Ribbon Downs closed November 28, 2009.
It all started in 1960 when a rancher by the name of Bill Hedge bought 102 acres of land and named it Blue Ribbon Ranch. Bill built a training track on his farm and before long the track became a favourite site for local match races. Just three years later, AQHA recognized racing at Blue Ribbon Downs and in 1965 the Blue Ribbon Futurity became the first recognized stakes race to take place at the track.
From here things just got bigger and better. Blue Ribbon Downs began to get a reputation for being one of the most successful nonpari-mutuel racetracks in the sport. A number of legendary horses started their racing careers on the track and it was run as a sort of family business from the Hedge’s home until 1973 when it was sold to a group of investors. In 1980, a gentleman by the name of Ralph Shebester purchased the track and made several necessary improvements to the property and the track. In 1983, Blue Ribbon Downs made racing history when it hosted the Black Gold Futurity that year with its $1 million purse. In 1984, Blue Ribbon Downs became a pari-mutuel betting facility – the only one of it’s kind in Oklahoma.
The track measures roughly 1570 yards and is oval in shape. The final stretch is approximately 845 feet in length. The current track is situated on 165 acres of land and it can be easily access from the Dwight Mission Road Exit which is just west of the track. This scenic race track currently hosts a number of Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred, Appaloosa and Paint horse races and features a glass-enclosed clubhouse, a racino and a great restaurant. The racino is open daily from 11 am while races are generally conducted on the track during racing season only. It is a good idea to phone ahead to find out what sort of racing will take place on the day you wish to visit and when the races will start.