The 1,050 acre-track just south of Crete was built in 1925 as “Lincoln Fields” under the auspices of Col. Matt J. Winn, manager of Churchill Downs. The large oval was surrounded by Kentucky bluegrass which Winn imported from Kentucky. Red Spanish tile was used as roofs on the buildings and spring-fed lakes were built in the infield.
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The track opened in 1926 featuring the $5,000 Joliet Stakes for 2 year-old colts and geldings.