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Philadelphia Park & Parx Casino
Facts and statistics
Location Bensalem, Pennsylvania (Philadelphia area)
Address 2999 Street Road
Bensalem, PA 19020
Opening date Racetrack: 1974
New Casino: Opened on December 18, 2009)
Notable restaurants Park Grille
Grab-N-Go
Circle Bar
Steakhouse Bar
Video Poker Bar
Casino type Land-Based
Owner Greenwood Racing, Inc.
Previous names Keystone Park (1974-1984)
Website Official Site

Philadelphia Park & Parx Casino is a thoroughbred horse racetrack and racino in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. It currently houses 3,300 slot machines.

Contents

History

Originally called Keystone Racetrack, it opened in November 1974 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, it replaced Liberty Bell Park Racetrack as the area's thoroughbred track. When the track was purchased in 1984 by ITB, the racetrack received a new name, a new turf course, and an innovative new way to wager called Phonebet.

In December 1990, the racetrack again changed hands when Greenwood Racing, Inc., a corporation founded in 1989 by British bookmaking veterans Bob Green and Bill Hogwood, purchased the oval from ITB. Full card simulcasting was added, as well as six off-track locations called Turf Clubs, allowing race fans to watch and wager seven days a week.

Late in 1998, Greenwood joined with fellow Pennsylvania corporation, Penn National Gaming, Inc., in expanding into New Jersey with the purchase of Freehold Raceway in Freehold, New Jersey and the operating lease of Garden State Park in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The new partnership, called Pennwood, was expected to pursue off-track and account wagering in the Garden State. Garden State Park closed in 2002, and was razed shortly thereafter.

Over the years, such notable horses as Smarty Jones, Shuvee, My Juliet, Spectacular Bid, Revidere, Summer Squall, and Broad Brush have found their way to the winner's circle at Philadelphia Park.

Philadelphia Park is the home of Pennsylvania's premier thoroughbred race, the $1 million (as of 2010) Grade II Pennsylvania Derby. Held on Labor Day until 2010 when the race will be moved to a later date closer to the Breeders' Cup World Championships, the Pennsylvania Derby is a 1.125 miles (1.811 km) (nine furlongs) race for three year olds that has consistently attracted quality fields, and large crowds. Over the past few years, the Pennsylvania Derby has evolved into a three-day festival that lasts all of Labor Day weekend at the racetrack, culminating with the running of the Derby. The festival will now be extended into a two-weekend event that will feature the annual Owners and Pennsylvania Day at the Races the Saturday before Labor Day, and a new $500,000 preliminary event on Labor Day. The race was not run in 2006 because of the rebuilding of the main grandstand as a "racino". The main grandstand lower floor will be reconstructed into a horse racing facility when the new "Parx" casino opens in December.

The Pennsylvania State Fair was held at the racetrack annually from 1987 to 2006.

In 2002, the track hosted the Claiming Crown of horse racing.

Casino

On September 27, 2006, the racetrack was awarded a conditional slots license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board, allowing construction to begin on the casino. Final approval of a permanent license came on December 20, 2006, the day after the casino opened. Bally's was chosen as the casino management system.[1] The name of the casino -"Parx" - a modified spelling of the racetrack name - was unveiled following a fireworks display on July 4, 2009.

The plan for the 430-acre (1.7 km2) site:

  • Phase 1: Renovation of the Grandstand, building of the Parx Casino & Parking Garage. (Complete; opened December 18, 2009)[2]
  • Last Phase: Renovation of paddock. (Opening: In-Time for Breeder's Cup in May 2010)

So far, Philadelphia Park has 3,300 slot machines. Electronic table games, such as roulette, blackjack, and poker, are also available.

On December 18, 2009, the Parx Casino opened, with 3,300 slot machines.

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Players Club

The Players Club consists of three levels: Players Club, Premium, and Elite.

Parx Casino currently has the following dining venues:

-Foodies -Park Grille -Chickie's and Pete's (March 2010) -Club 360 -Jax

Physical attributes

The track has a 1 mile (1.6 km) dirt oval and a 7 furlong - .875 miles (1.408 km) - turf oval.

Stakes races

The following graded stakes are run at Philadelphia Park:

  • Grade II Pennsylvania Derby
  • Grade II Fitz Dixon Cotillion Breeders' Cup Handicap
  • My Juliet Stakes
  • Jostle Stakes
  • Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap
  • Dr. James Penny Memorial Handicap
  • Greenwood Park Cup
  • Ambassador of Luck Handicap
  • Captain My Captain Handicap
  • Devil's Honor Handicap
  • Mr. Jenney Handicap
  • Mrs. Penny Stakes
  • Northern Fling Handicap
  • Peppy Addy Stakes
  • Smarty Jones Classic Stakes
  • Turf Monster Handicap
  • PTHA President's Cup
  • Turf Amazon Handicap
  • Gallant Bob Handicap

References

See also

External links

Coordinates: 40°07′23″N 74°57′00″W / 40.123°N 74.95°W / 40.123; -74.95


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