A Day At The Horse Races in Seoul
One of only three parks in Korea for thoroughbred flat races, the Seoul Lets Run Park (렛츠런파크서울) in Gwacheon is huge and really takes the cake for a place offering a different kind of fun day out.
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The race track, originally constructed for the 1988 Summer Olympics, is equipped with two sand tracks with a 450 meter long home stretch and when those horses turn the bend, the crowds really get their yelling on. Two grandstands, one called Happy Ville and one called Lucky Ville, accommodate 35,000 and 42,000 people respectively which means those whoops and hollers can come together for one immensely loud and raucous good time.
Two stables on the grounds house 1,500 horses and there is also a trainer’s village and a jockey’s village too. In the center of the race track is also a family friendly horse-themed park to be called “Whinny World” perfect for the little ones they’ve said will open at the end of September. The theme park will feature 10 village sections, 39 venues and 25 activities great for the whole family.
The grandstands are full of betting experts studying the odds but there are separate locations for the crowd just looking for a fun day at the races. A foreigners lounge in which all staff can help in English is available on the 5th floor of Lucky Ville and for an additional W10,000 entrance fee it offers a panoramic racecourse view, dedicated English, Chinese and Japanese speaking staff and complimentary coffee and juice with beer for purchase.
The NOL Lounge on the first floor of Happy Ville is a hall offering some different fun to be had at the races. A play zone for children, a smart betting zone, a secret tour and a street food zone keep this area a bit more family or couple friendly and doesn’t seem to be crowded with super serious bettors.
The Korea Racing Association which had previously invited me to their brand new off track betting lounge in the Sheraton Grand Walkerhill some months ago invited me to see the horses in person in order to get the word about the Korea Cup this weekend! On September 11, 2016, the KRA will host the Korea Cup at the Let’s Run Park in Gwacheon with seven countries in attendance including: England, Hong Kong, Ireland, Singapore, Japan, France and the Arab Emirates.
Along with the racing and betting fun this upcoming weekend, the Delicious Global Food Festival will also be held to entice the taste buds. I have to say that the best part about a day at the races was the roar of the crowds as the horse came around the bend and entered that home stretch. It was intense even though I was only betting W1,000 per bet. I made off with W3,200 by night’s end. Go me!
Seoul Lets Run Park (렛츠런파크서울)
107 Gyeongmagongwon-daero Gwacheon-si, Gyeonggi-do
경기도 과천시 경마공원대로 107 (주암동)
Directions: Seoul Racecourse Park Subway Station, exit 2. Turn left out of the station and you can’t miss the entrance.
Hours: Admission begins from 9:00am BUT racing hours are 10:40am ~ 6:00pm
Admission: Non-racing day: free; Racing day: W2,000*
*free for the handicapped, seniors over 65 and minors
Races: 11-13 races per day
Bets: W100 ~W100,000 limit
Betting Types: Win, Place, Quinella, Quinella-Place, Exacta
Amenities: parking (M-F: free; Sat. & Sun.: W12,000 per day), restrooms, VIP rooms, concessions and food