Racing Seasons:

Thoroughbred Races


APR 18 – AUG 8
Post Times THURS – SAT at 6:30pm & SUN at 1pm

Racing through one or more turns on a oval track, Thoroughbred horses are bred to be the perfect union of speed and endurance.

You can download a PDF of our full racing calendar here.

Quarter Horse Races


AUG 15 – OCT 10
Post Times FRI & SAT at 6:30pm & SUN at 1pm

With their rapid acceleration over short distances, Quarter Horses are the world-class sprinters of the equestrian world.

You can download a PDF of our full racing calendar here.

Featured Racing Events:

Dates & Post Times

Accordian Image_Belmont Stakes

June 26 & 27 (Festival of Racing)
Race Post Times 6:30pm

Friday, July 3rd (Fireworks)
Race Post Time 5:00pm

Saturday, July 4th (Independence Day)
Race Post Time 5:00pm

Sunday, July 19th (Camel, Zebra, Ostrich)
Race Post Time 1:00pm

Saturday, August 8 (Iowa Classic)
Race Post Time 6:30pm

National Handicapping Championship Qualifier

NHC Qualifier Tournament

Saturday, June 13 – Sunday, June 14

Registration is open now through Saturday, June 13, 2015 at 11am.

The tournament buy-in is $500, payable upon registration by cash or check. No money orders or credit card payments will be accepted. Entries received after 4pm on Monday, June 8, 2015 must be paid for in cash. The buy-in of $500 will be deposited into an advance-wagering account for each participant.

Entries can be delivered to the Racing Center or sent by mail. All mailed entries must be postmarked on/or before Friday, June 5, 2015 and should be sent to the below listed address.

Attn: Mutuels
1 Prairie Meadows Drive
Altoona, IA 50009

For additional details, see attached rules.

NHC Qualifier Final Rules

2015 NHC Tour Official Rules

Iowa Classic Parade

Iowa Classic Parade

Saturday, August 8


Cash prizes will be awarded to the top three parade entries, first place is $500, second place is $250 and third place is $100.

Registration Form & Parade Route

Stable Area Tours

Stable Area Tours

May 30, June 13, July 25, August 15 &
September 12

8am – 11am

Check out the behind the scenes tour of Prairie Meadows Racetrack! Learn about track conditions, jockeys, horses and more.

Plus each adult will receive a free racing program!

No Reservation required. Meet at the south entrance. Tours last approximately 30 minutes. For more information, please call 515-967-8542.

Today’s Live Racing/Entries:

Handicappers Corner

If you’re unsure how to pick a winner or want to know what the handicappers think about a horse, you’ll find free selections and analysis from local handicappers each race day here in the Gold Sheet Selections.

Saturday May 30, 2015

Sunday May 31, 2015

Tipster's Picks

Get the latest thinking on how a particular horse will run and race analysis from local handicappers who follow the field. Click here to view our Tipster’s Picks.



Ones to Watch

Plan your weekend of simulcast race wagering with one of these major races from around the country.


Frequently Asked Questions

When does live horse racing season begin?

Our racetrack is open between April and October during the racing season.

Can I bring my child to the racetrack?

Children under 18 are welcome if accompanied by an adult. However, no one under the age of 21 is allowed to access the casino floor, located on Level 2.

How do you place a bet on a race?

Just follow these 5 easy steps:

  1. State the name of the track.
  2. Give the teller the number of the race you’re betting on.
  3. State the amount you wish to wager. ($2 is the minimum)
  4. Tell them the type of wager you’d like to make.
  5. Give them the number of the horse as listed in your program. Here’s an example: “Prairie Meadows, third race, two dollars, to win, on number five.”

What days do the horses race?

Thoroughbreds race Thursday – Sunday and Quarter Horses race Friday – Sunday.

Does Prairie Meadows charge for admission or parking?

Admission is free for all of our live horse racing events with both indoor and outdoor seating. Parking is also free and includes handicap spaces and valet parking—and for your convenience, a shuttle is accessible from the parking lot that will take you to the main entrance.

How do I pick a horse?

To keep it simple and easy, you may want to pick your favorite number or color, a name you like, or the horse you connect with. More advanced strategies include looking at things like bloodlines, past performances, and track conditions. The more times you wager, the more you’ll get to know these strategies.

I am interested in sponsoring a race. What does that include? How do I sponsor?

Anyone can pay to sponsor a race. Benefits include having your name/photo displayed on the Big Screen, your name in racing program, a personal message read by the track announcer, and your picture in the winner’s circle. These are a great way to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, corporate outings and other special occasions. To sign up, click here.

Where can I find information on race times?

You can view our racing calendar here for race days, post times, and special racing events occurring throughout the season here at Prairie Meadows!

Do you offer stable tours?

Stable Tours will be offered on the following dates:

May 30, June 13, July 25, August 15 & September 12

Tours will run continuously from 8am – 11am. No Reservation required. Meet at the south entrance. Tours last approximately 30 minutes. For more information, please call 515-967-1000.

What are the basic wagers you can make on a race?

A “Win” bet means you bet a horse to win, so you win if your horse finishes first. Making a “Place” bet means you win if your horse finishes first or second. When you bet a horse to “Show”, you win if your horse finishes first, second or third.


Racing Personnel

Racing Department Contact Information

Derron Heldt

Director of Racing
(515) 967-8508

Pat Pope

Thoroughbred Racing Secretary
(515) 967-1204

Chad Keller

Quarter Horse Racing Secretary
(515) 957-3027

Martha Miller

Racing Administrative Assistant
(515) 967-1205

Jack Coady

Track Photographer
(515) 967-1381

Lori Thornburg

Horsemen’s Bookkeeper
(515) 967-1298

Quarter Horse Futurity/Derby Nomination Forms & Lists

Information on 2015 I.Q.H.R.A. & Prairie Meadows Quarter Horse Futurities and Derbies will be posted when available.

Please send nomination, sustaining, and late payments to I.Q.H.R.A. for the following races:

Please send nomination, sustaining, and late payments to Clerk of Course, Prairie Meadows for the following races:


Please Note:   For nomination information to any of the Regional Challenge races, please contact AQHA/Racing Challenge Hotline at (877)-222-7223.