One of the two thoroughbred racetracks in West Virginia has officially started its racing season. And there’s a lot to look forward to on the calendar in 2023.
Mountaineer Racetrack & Resort in Chester, West Virginia — home to a full-service resort, casino, Caesars sportsbook, championship golf course, and world-class entertainment — kicked off its racing calendar on April 30. Races will run at least three evenings every week until Dec. 13. The track will add a fourth evening race each week starting in mid-June.
There are 124 race days scheduled for the year, including the state’s premier horse racing event: West Virginia Derby Day.
Racing at Mountaineer is currently Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evenings
Horse racing fans in the state have several options to place bets on the ponies. West Virginia horse betting includes live thoroughbred racing and simulcast racing from around the country. Players can place bets at the racetracks and several off-track betting sites, and from anywhere else in West Virginia through online horse betting apps.
Live racing at Mountaineer Racetrack is currently running every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday evening at 7. Wednesday racing each week begins on June 21.
There’s also regular simulcast viewing on big-screen TVs at one of two off-tracking betting areas at the casino available each week. And don’t forget the full resort of other entertainment options on dark days at the track.
West Virginia Derby Day is now the first Sunday in August
For the first time, West Virginia Derby Day will move to a Sunday. Organizers hope to gain more visibility for West Virginia’s biggest horse racing event. It will take place Aug. 6.
Mountaineer Racing Director Jim Colvin said the move to Sunday was made to increase participation.
“This year, we are requesting to run our Derby on Sunday vs. Saturday, [as] we are trying to stay off the Grade 1 races (at other tracks) on Saturday. I know there [were] some problems in the past about races overlapping. That was one of the reasons (for the move to Sunday).”
The premier day of racing at Mountaineer is headlined by the 9-furlong, Grade 3 West Virginia Derby for 3-year-olds. The race regularly attracts quality contenders.
The half-a-million-dollar purse is one of the richest in West Virginia racing. The race winner in 2022, Skippylongstocking, generated $308,000 in betting. The horse also ran in two legs of the 2022 Triple Crown.
West Virginia Derby Day also sports a second Grade 3 race earlier in the day, the $200,000 West Virginia Governor’s Stakes at a mile and a sixteenth.
Derby Day will be the only day when the first post of the day is scheduled for 5 p.m.
Takeout rates at Mountaineer Racetrack available to the public
Mountaineer Racetrack is transparent about its takeout rates for all wager types when it comes to horse racing.
The takeout rate for all win, place, and show bets is 17.25%.
For exactas and daily double wagers, the takeout is 19%.
All other bets — including trifectas, superfectas, super fives, pick-3s, pick-4s, and pick-5s — have a takeout rate of 25%.
Things to do at Mountaineer besides betting on the horses
The Mountaineer Resort is open from 8 a.m. till 4 a.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. till midnight on Fridays, and 24 hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
There is plenty of entertainment offered at the resort besides live horse racing.
A premiere gambling destination in the state, Mountaineer Casino is positioned on the Ohio River and offers more than 25 table games, 1,000 slots, and nearly 80,000 square feet of entertainment.
The casino opens every day at 10 a.m. and closes at 2 a.m. during the week and at 4 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights.
The sportsbook is open during the week from 1:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., and from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the weekends.
The sportsbook can also be accessed online with the Caesars WV Sportsbook app.
Comfort and visibility are just some of the qualities of Mountaineer’s Caesars Sportsbook, offering bets on most major sports and bet styles.
Mountaineer’s event space, The Ballroom, offers live music, drinks, and dancing and is opens from 8 p.m. until midnight. There are also grand piano performances on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as acoustic performances in the outdoor courtyard, weather permitting.
Additionally, there is an 18-hole championship golf course at the resort, Woodview Golf Course. Reservations are required for tee times.
Mountaineer offers dining options that will surely satisfy everyone.
Whether it’s the upscale LBV Steakhouse or something a bit more laid back, like Big Al’s or Mahogany Sports Bar, you can find the grub you’re looking for.