DateThu, Apr 6, 2017
Originally to be known as Waterford Downs, the track's parent company was incorporated in 1937. The effort was led by Al Boyle, president of the Charles Town Races, who named it after his family's ancestral home of Waterford, Ireland. The company's initial public offering was approved in February 1939, with the track expected to open the following September.
By August 1940, construction had not begun, but 250 acres of land had been bought or optioned. In 1942, Boyle planned to begin construction of the track, but expected the grandstand to be delayed at least until 1943 by a steel shortage due to World War II.
Construction was finally underway by July 1948, with opening scheduled for September 1949.The name was changed to Waterford Park in 1950.Opening day was finally held on May 19, 1951.
The track was purchased by Bill Blair and renamed as Mountaineer Park in 1987. In 1992, Blair sold the track to California-based Excalibur Holding Co. for $4 million cash plus $2.7 million in stock. The track was authorized to have slot machines and installed them in 1994. Excalibur was renamed Winners Entertainment, then renamed MTR Gaming Group.
With the revenue that a casino of 3,200 slots, table games, and a hotel resort provides, the track is able to offer very good purses.
Mountaineer's experience is further enhanced by nationwide coverage of the track's West Virginia Derby, a Grade II race that has significantly grown in stature and purse in the past decade. The first Saturday in August traditionally has been the day the Derby takes place, and is the only day of the calendar that the track offers afternoon racing. Otherwise, the races are run at night, at 7pm (Eastern Time).