El Commandante Race Track – Pride of Puerto Rico
Horse racing became a very popular sport in Puerto Rico in the early 1900’s. The first imported racehorses that were documented went by the names of Meteor and Covandonga. Following their arrival, new laws were made in regard to importing horses, regulation rules were imposed and the time of legendary horses began in Puerto Rico. Names such as Cocoliso, Galgo Jr, Bachelor, Bold Forbes, El Platino and Waiter, wrote their legacies down in Puerto Rican history.
The horse named Waiter started a mania across Puerto Rico, that saw to the construction of El Comandante Race Track, now called Hipodromo Camarero. He was the first Puerto Rican Triple Crown winner and by the time he was four years of age, thousands of spectators would rush to the small racecourses to see their favorite horse in action. Unfortunately, the tracks were too small to accommodate all the Waiter fanatics and many were turned away. This made the need for a modern and larger racetrack even greater. Since the year 1972, the El Comandante Race Track became the only thoroughbred racetrack in Puerto Rico.
The El Comandante Race Track, or Hipodromo Camarero, is located in the city of Canovanas and is approximately twenty minutes outside San Juan. The new renovations and new name of Hipodromo Camarero has made the race track not only a great attraction for its weekly racing, but for visitors and tourists. The racetrack has a beautiful and extremely spacious restaurant area that gives spectators a perfect view of all the racing action. The restaurant can accommodate about a thousand people and is located in the Terrace Room, in the Clubhouse. The sports bar, called the Winners Sports Bar, is also ideal for a few casual drinks and socializing.
The track offers eight races a day on racing days, which are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Closed circuit televisions in the Clubhouse bring the horses and their cheering owners and fans a little closer to those in the restaurant. The track also caters for functions and events that can be held here. The Hipodromo Camarero is where the Sport of Kings takes place and has all the latest and modern facilities available. It is an attraction that combines sporting action, with relaxation and good food.