This Week in Texas History

In April 1934, a year after pari-mutuel horse racing became legal,  Texas' fourth track opened in San Antonio under the name of Alamo Downs. Horse races and wagers on the outcome were common in the Lone Star State as far back as the middle of the nineteenth century. Before the Civil War, fans flocked to the Hill Country hamlet of Harkeyville to place their bets. When the American love affair with the thoroughbred blossomed in the 1880's, new courses sprang up at Dallas and Brownwood. Following the example of many other states, Texas exempted horse racing from the anti-gambling statutes in 1905. For four frenzied years, race tracks drew big crowds until scandals back east soured the public on the popular pastime  
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