Arlington Downs

Arlington Downs, a 1ΒΌ-mile track with a 6,000-seat grandstand, opened on November 1, 1929, under the guidance of oil and cattle magnate William T. Waggoner. The track was located on his "Three D" stock farm half-way between Dallas and Fort Worth near Arlington, and the construction cost was nearly $3 million. All of this endeavor was a gamble for the millionaire since pari-mutuel betting, the largest income-producing aspect of horse racing, was illegal at the time of the track's opening. By use of his facility for prize races and for local civic events, Waggoner endeared himself and his track to the local citizenry. Simultaneously, the racing entrepreneur was spending thousands lobbying Austin for legalization of pari-mutuel wagering.

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

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