Epsom Downs in Houston

Photo of Epsom Downs in Houston, Texas
Photograph courtesy of Adele Simpson.
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Epsom Downs

Jensen Drive at U.S. 59, Houston, Texas, Eastex-Jensen 77093
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Epsom Downs was an upscale horse racing facility. It was open just three years from 1933 to 1937 and was considered one of the top two race tracks in the state (along with Arlington Downs). Those dates coincide with when the state legislature approved betting on horse racing, and then when the legislature outlawed horse betting. Pari-mutuel betting was allowed once again in 1987, which allowed Gulf Greyhound Park and Sam Houston Race Park to open. The first race at Epsom was Thanksgiving Day, 1933. Its last race was March 27, 1937. It was the largest of the Texas tracks, with seating for 10,000, though 25,000 people showed up for the first race. Epsom Downs was located in an area near Jensen Drive. Epsom Downs was named after a race track that the British royal family still visits in Epsom, England.

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