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Seminole DownsRacing Tonight

Seminole Downs, was originally a five eights mile dirt oval, that was expanded to three quarters of a mile in 1970. It was  located in Casselberry about eight miles north of Orlando. Over it's lifetime it hosted both harness and thoroughbred racing. The Facility featured a climate controlled grandstand and clubhouse, the grandstand seated 2,500 and the clubhouse sat 1,000 people. This included 400 reserved seats and another six hundred seats in the Osceola Terrace dining room overlooking the stretch. There was parking for over 5,000 vehicles and stabling for 850 horses. 

Another classic example of racetracks gone wild, what were they thinking. Yes there actually was a Seminole Downs it did start life as primarily as a thoroughbred venue with some quarter horse racing. Things never got off on the right foot and the initial meet ended 12 days early for multiple reasons. Management Vowed to return the next year bigger and better but that never happened.

New ownership did eventually re-open the track in 1970 for thoroughbred racing but again that was short lived. In 1973 harness racing takes over and runs through 1975 when it to fails to survive. Doomed from the start one of the rumors was that nearby Disneyland didn't want any distractions for tourist dollars and did what it could to eliminate Seminole Downs.

Seminole Downs lived on for a while longer as Seminole Dog Track. The grandstand was finally razed in 2008. 

Today the original site of Seminole Downs is half housing development, half vacant lot. West of the lake there are houses, east where the clubhouse turn and barns were is undeveloped. In the old days Seminola Drive would pretty much end at the track parking lot, today it joins up with Lake Road. When you come to the point where they meet you would probably be around the old paddock after having driven through where the parking lot was.

I never made it to Seminole Turf Club, or Downs, I don't even think I know it existed. I remember in the early seventies someone who had gone to Disneyland, telling me they had gone to the races while they were there, I thought that was odd because I didn't know of any track near Orlando, guess I was wrong!