The Palermo Horseracing Track

Passionate like no other. Passional to the extent that many have lost everything “by one head” and very few have won.

Music: Carlos Gardel
Lyrics: Alfredo Le Pera

Passionate like no other. Passional to the extent that many have lost everything “by one head” and very few have won.

The racecourse is a very special place. “A church everyone attends to”, according to the most faithful fans. And there is something like that. When it rains, the wet track turns into paradise, and it certainly is a sin not to be there.

The racecourse is not a place where advice rules. As far as advices are concerned, only those related to a favorite horse, a sure winner and luck, which of course is not a myth, are followed to the letter.

  • Is a very special place

    Is a very special place

  • 2,400 meters of vertigo and speed

    2,400 meters of vertigo and speed

  • The Argentinian popular identity

    The Argentinian popular identity

  • Carlos Gardel

    Carlos Gardel

  • Three racks made of sand

    Three racks made of sand

  • One of the best in the world

    One of the best in the world

“These are the last few meters to the finish line. Anyone can win. Number 5, 8 and 7. Last three hundred meters to cross the finish line. Number 7 takes the lead leaving number 1 behind, followed closely by number 3, and number 8, who follows on his outside. Last two hundred meters, number 7 remains on the lead, number 5 is very close and followed by number 8. Last few meters for the finish line. Fifty last meters. Head to head, number 7 and number 5. By one head, number 5 and number 7 and... they crossed the line…7,5,8,3,4,1..” the reporter ends and nothing will be the same from now on.

Absolutely nothing

Even though few Argentinians have been to the racecourse, its jockeys and horses are part of the Argentinian popular identity.

From the beginning, the Mecca of Argentinian turf became quite noticeable for most dwellers of the Río de la Plata area. When it opened its gates, the city became paralized. Not even the trains and tramways were enough. The railway system management even ordered to add cars to the trains so that everybody could attend. But they were not enough for the number of enthusiasts who would not miss the first seven races.

Thus, over ten thousand porteños vibrated with “Resbaloso”’s victory, the great winner of the first race.

But today the racecourse is not just the venue for horse races. From the start, it became established as an environment for glamor and style, where the enthusiasm for turf encouraged the construction of an elegant architectural work from the belle époque which combines betting and the pleasures of life.

Inaugurated in 1876, the venue has three racks made of sand, two of which are used for horse training and exercising. The third track, considered one of the best in the world, is made up by extraordinary materials (80% sand, 14% mud and 8% clay). During races, it unfolds 2,400 meters of vertigo and speed hard to be found in other latitudes.

However, the Hipódromo Argentino de Palermo, as it has been called since 1953, is much more than betting and gambling.

Tattersal hall, created by the the Italian architect V. Cestari, is the place chosen by great celebrities to hold splendid formal celebrations, whereas the members’ wing, a venue where politicians and characters of the establishment gather, was born from the imagination of the French architect Fauré Dujarric.

The scenery is completed with the charming gardens decorated with sculptures and staircases that invite visitors to access the sides of the track and the grandstands. Entertainment options include pubs and coffee-shops such as Salón Oval and París restaurant, as well as the two slot machine rooms, which today include over one thousand machines.

Enough of race tracks, no more gambling,
a photo-finish I’m not watching again,
but if a pony looks like a sure thing on Sunday,
I’ll bet everything again, what can I do?….

Autor Pablo Etchevers Fotografo Pablo Etchevers


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