Prairie Meadows Sets Live Horse Racing Schedule for 2021

January 22, 2021 – Altoona, IA. Live horse racing returns to Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack, & Hotel on Friday, April 30 when the Altoona, IA facility opens its 32nd season of Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse action.

On Thursday, January 21, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission (IRGC) approved an 84-day 2021 race meet for Prairie Meadows.

The season begins with 26 days of Thoroughbred-only racing from April 30 - June 14 and continues with a mixed Thoroughbred and Quarter Horse schedule for the remaining 58 race days through September 25.

Live racing will be offered on a Friday - Monday schedule, with post times set for 6 PM CDT on Fridays and Saturdays, and 4 PM CDT on Sundays and Mondays, with exceptions for special race days, events, and holidays.

Horsemen should note that Condition Book 1 and stall application for the 2021 season will be posted online in the Horseman’s Information area of Prairie Meadows’ website at and is also available in hardcopy form via mail or at Prairie Meadows Racing Office.

Condition Book 1 will include the first 18 days of the 2021 season (Thoroughbred-only racing). Stall Applications will be due in the Racing Office on Wednesday, March 24.

The barn area is scheduled to open for horses on Friday, April 2 and training is set to begin on Sunday, April 4, weather permitting.

Prairie Meadows will offer 32 Thoroughbred stakes races in 2021 (including overnight stakes) worth an estimated $2.92 million. The highlights of the Thoroughbred stakes calendar are the Iowa Festival of Racing on Friday, July 2 and Saturday, July 3 and the traditional Iowa Classic stakes races on Saturday, September 25.

In addition, the track will offer 23 Quarter Horse stakes races in 2021 worth an estimated $1.6 million, highlighted by the Bank of America/Prairie Meadows Regional Challenge Finals on Saturday, August 14 and Sunday, August 15, Prairie Meadows Quarter Horse Championships on Friday, September 24, and Iowa Classic stakes races for the Quarter Horses on Saturday, September 25.

Quarter Horse connections are reminded that Futurity and Derby nomination forms are available online, by mail, or by request through the Prairie Meadows Racing Office.

Payment schedules begin March 1 for the Prairie Meadows Gold Futurity and Derby, Hawkeye Futurity, Cyclone Derby, and Iowa Quarter Horse Stallion Futurity and Derby.

Payment schedules begin April 1 for the Valley Junction Futurity, Altoona Derby, Jim Bader Futurity, and Polk County Derby.                                      

Prairie Meadows extends congratulations to three industry participants and one equine athlete for their accomplishments in 2020. Victoria Dorrian was awarded the 2020 RTCA White Horse Award, Carmen McShane received the 2020 TIEA Leadership in Racing Award, jockey Alex Birzer is a 2021 George Woolf Memorial Award nominee, and Eagles Fly Higher was named 2020 AQHA Aged Stallion Champion. Eagles Fly Higher was the winner of the Grade II Bank of America/Prairie Meadows Championship Challenge in August 2020.

Birzer is one of five finalists, along with Jorge Martin Bourdieu, Kendrick Carmouche, Aaron Gryder, and Deshawn Parker, for this year’s George Woolf Memorial Award. The award recognizes riders whose careers and personal character garner esteem for the individual and the sport of Thoroughbred racing. The winner will be announced at Santa Anita in February.

To continue receiving information about our 2021 live horse racing season, visit     

About Prairie Meadows
Prairie Meadows began operations as a nonprofit organization in 1989 with the goal of promoting economic development, jobs, agriculture, and tourism in the state of Iowa. Through taxes, grants, and charitable donations, Prairie Meadows has given $1.9 billion to the state of Iowa. Prairie Meadows offers nearly 1,100 slot machines, table games, live and simulcast racing, sports wagering, hotel accommodations, entertainment, and more.


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