Horse Betting History In New Hampshire

Written By Joana Neziri on February 10, 2022
New Hampshire Horse Racing Through The Years

There has been horse racing in New Hampshire for a long time.

The first racetrack opened at Rockingham Park in 1906. It was home to legendary horses, including Seabiscuit, who was the nation’s most loved athlete during The Great Depression.

Unfortunately, Rockingham Park closed in 2016, making way for a shopping mall. With no greyhound tracks or off-track betting (OTB) offices, opportunities for live betting in Granite State have disappeared.

At this time, betting is only available online by phone or computer, or any of the online betting sites that are available in New Hampshire. 

The three available sports betting sites in New Hampshire

Below are the names of each location, and an overview of what to expect from these horse betting sites:

  • TVG: This site is part of the Television Games Network, the biggest horse racing TV channel. Bettors get a $200 risk-free first bet and can participate in contests and other promotions.
  • TwinSpires: With coverage from tracks all over the country, TwinSpires is named after Kentucky Downs’ iconic building. This site usually offers $10 of free betting.
  • BetAmerica: They offer free past performance data on race meets where you place a bet.

Simulcast betting is also available at Surrey Park, near Boston, though live racing no longer takes place there.

What is the history of horse racing in New Hampshire?

Besides having its initial start in 1906, all other forms of betting were still illegal in New Hampshire at this time. Rockingham Park was one of the most popular courses and saw many successful years of thoroughbred racing. Seabiscuit, one of the finest racehorses of the 20th century, raced at Rockingham Park in 1935 and 1936.

Many states enacted gambling laws during the Great Depression. Pari-mutuel betting was regulated throughout New England due to increased tax revenue and a softening of Prohibition Era politics. By the 1970s, interests in races and events started to decline.

The last race eventually took place in 2007. The only remnant of what was once known as “the Finest Little Racecourse” is a giant shopping mall.

Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts followed suit, running its last live race in 2019. It still remains open as a simulcasting facility. 

Horse who played Seabiscuit dies at 24

Popcorn Deelites, one of the many horses that starred in the 2003 film Seabiscuit, has died at age 24 due to complications from colic, a term used to describe abdominal pain in horses. Since 2005, The gelding had been stabled at Old Friends Throughbred Retirement Farms in Georgetown, KY. Her death was announced by Michael Blowen, the founder and President of the non-profit organization.

“Pops’s Hollywood history made him an enormous fan favorite, of course,” says Blowen. “But what really won people over was his warm personality and friendly demeanor. Fans adored him and he adored the fans. He will be sorely missed here on the farm,” Blowen added, “but I’m sure that his old pal and paddock mate, Special Ring, will miss him the most.”

Popcorn Deelites appeared in several scenes from Seabiscuit, including the epic race against Triple Crown winner War Admiral. Through racing, Popcorn started 58 times and had 11 wins with career earnings of $56,880

“Pops will always be a shining star in our hearts,” Old Friends Farm writes. 

 

Photo by shutterstock.com/MikhailPogosov
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