East Arlington, Arlington, Texas, United States

You can lead a Horse to Water, but...

Near the east of the corner of Six Flags Drive and Commerce Dr. is a relic from the past that remains largely unnoticed by all those who venture this way. Most folks probably assume that the concrete container was meant to be some sort of raised flower pot, or decorative fountain, although the racehorse motif seems a little odd. But a flower pot it is not. It is an 80-year-old watering trough for horses and it is the last remnants of the old Arlington Downs Racetrack.

North of this location, at the northwest corner of E. Randall Mill Road and Six Flags Dr., in front of the the Arlington Downs Tower building, is a Texas Historical Marker which provides a little more history about the racetrack. It reads:

Site of Arlington Downs Racetrack.
Wealthy rancher and oilman W. T. Waggoner (1852 - 1934) developed a stable of fine Thoroughbreds and quarter horses at his ranch here in the 1920s. At this site he built Arlington Downs, a one-and-one quarter mile race track with a 6,000-seat grandstand. Racing days drew thousands of spectators including numerous celebrities. Waggoner and his sons Guy (1883 - 1950) and Paul (1889 - 1967) campaigned for pari-mutuel betting, which was legalized in Texas from 1934 to 1937. The Racetrack was used for rodeos and other events before the buildings were razed in 1958.

Some old photos of the racetrack can be seen on this webpage.

You can lead a Horse to Water, but...