Playing the Ponies
BUSAN, South Korea — Horse racing has a 90-year history in the country, starting with the Chosun Racing Club, the nation’s first-ever authorized horse racing club. In Korea, there are three internationally renowned race parks: Busan Gyeongnam Race Park, Jeju Race Park and Seoul Race Park.
Locally, the Busan Gyeongnam Race Park began operations in 2005. Located in west Busan, near Gimhae International Airport, facilities include a 2,000 meter sand track, a grandstand/betting area capable of holding 32,000 people, and stables accommodating about 1,000 horses. The race park is also home to the KRA Cup Mile, which is the first leg of the Korean Triple Crown on the first Sunday in April.
On Friday afternoons, starting at noon and running through 6 p.m., they run ten races, as well as simulcast other races from Jeju. On Sunday, they run six races, usually starting around 12:30 p.m. and finishing around 6:30. During mid-July to mid-August, when the temperature is very high, racing is conducted at night to protect horses from the heat and provide a more comfortable environment for racing fans.
If you are looking to place some bets, the Korean Racing Association operates five betting types: win, place, quinella exacta, quinella place and trio. The minimum bet allowed is 100 Korean won and the maximum per single bet is limited to 100,000 Korean won.
Admission to the park is 800 won, and once you walk in, there is an information booth which provides race day information in English.
The KRA runs free shuttle buses to and from Jurye Subway Station (Line 2), Exit 8, starting around 10 a.m. and buses run every 30 minutes until 4:40 p.m. Another shuttle runs from Hadan Subway Station (Line 1) and parking is readily available.