Puerto Rico Horse Racing Heaven – Hipódromo Camarero
🇵🇷Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico Horse Racing Heaven – Hipódromo Camarero

Puerto Rico is undoubtedly among the preeminent sports capitals of the Caribbean. Generally, the island’s rich sporting history is denoted by winning and excellence. See Roberto Clemente, Héctor “Macho” Camacho, Chi-Chi Rodríguez, etc. A small segment of the sporting legacy at the Hipódromo Camarero, however, is notably different. 

What is the Hipódromo Camarero

Unquestionably the Mecca of horse racing in Puerto Rico, if not the entire Caribbean, Hipódromo Camarero (formerly El Nuevo Comandante) was constructed in 1976. The one-mile, seven furlong sand track is located in Canóvanas, 20 minutes from downtown San Juan. Hipódromo Camarero is distinguished by its spacious restaurant, with a seating capacity of close to 1,000. The on-site Winners Sports Bar offers additional space to enjoy drinks and socialize on race days.

Hipodromo Camarero

All-in-all, the facility is world’s apart from the tracks that its namesake used to dominate.

Puerto Rico Horse Racing Royalty

Hipódromo Camarero is named for the most famous thoroughbred in Puerto Rico’s history. During the early- to mid-1950s, Camarero won a total of 73 races. A two-time Puerto Rico Horse of the Year (1954, 1955), Camarero racked up $43,553 in earnings, a total equal to $500,000+ today.

Most notably, though, Camarero was the first to win the Puerto Rico Triple Crown (1954).

Camarero’s prowess so captivated the sporting public in Puerto Rico that a new, larger, and more modern racing facility was need to accommodate his throngs of supporters. The result: the original El Comandante Hippodrome, precursor to El Nuevo Comandante, which was renamed in honor of Camarero in 2006.

As great as Camarero was, though, he’s not the only horse to have made a hugely historic impact here…

Legendary Loser

Hipódromo Camarero’s other most legendary horse was named Dona Chepa. Her legend, though not a pretty one, did make headlines around the world. The Inquirer Magazine, ESPN, The Chicago Tribune, The Irish Independent, The Sun (UK) – everyone covered Dona Chepa’s exploits.

Her claim to fame: She recorded the most consecutive losses (135) in horse racing history. 

Still, it wasn’t all bad for DC. After all, she brought home a good $14K in career earnings, even despite all that losing.

Plus, she got to race at one of the more beautiful race tracks anywhere.

If You Go…

The racing action at Hipódromo Camarero goes down every Wednesday–Sunday, from 3PM to 6:30PM. Grandstand seating is free!

For more information on Puerto Rico horse racing, visit Hipódromo Camarero online and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.

Last updated by Steve Bennett on .

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