California Horse Racing

California Horse Racing

A state rich in horse racing tradition, California features some of the most traditional and beautiful tracks in the world. Since the 1930’s the three most popular tracks in the state, Santa Anita, Del Mar, and Golden Gate Fields, have attracted top horses and scores of racing fans. In recent years, Los Alamitos - once used predominantly for quarter horse racing – has also taken a prominent role in the thoroughbred landscape replacing racing dates once occupied by the now defunct Hollywood Park. California also offers Cal Expo for harness racing fans.

California Race Tracks

Santa Anita

Set upon the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains just outside Los Angeles, Santa Anita, coined “The Great Race Place,” has offered majestic views and top-class racing since its inception in 1934. The famous venue annually hosts the Santa Anita Handicap, the Santa Anita Derby, and the Malibu Stakes – all grade one events – in addition to a host of other major races. With a large seating capacity, Santa Anita has hosted multiple Breeders’ Cup evens with the track set to host the 2016 renewal.

Del Mar

Located just north of San Diego and right off the Pacific Ocean, Del Mar is commonly referred to as “where the surf meets the turf.” The popular summer gathering spot has traditionally held live racing in July, August, and September, but now also holds a brief November meeting since the closing of Hollywood Park. The Pacific Classic, Bing Crosby and Del Mar Futurity are among a bevy of major stakes races at the track which offers lucrative purses throughout the year.

Golden Gate Fields

Since the closing of Bay Meadows in 2008, Golden Gate is the only major track in northern California. Located in San Francisco, Bay Meadows has provided its share of classic horse racing moments including a 1950 showdown between the great Citation and Noor. The track’s signature events include the El Camino Real Derby and San Francisco Mile.

Los Alamitos

Once noted almost exclusively for quarter horse action, Los Alamitos now holds a separate thoroughbred meet, attracting top talent in late November and early to mid-December with events like the Grade 1 Los Alamitos Futurity. The track also continues to feature nearly year-round quarter horse racing including the Champion of Champions Stakes. 

Bet California Racing Online!

When you can't get to the track, you can bet California racing through a recommended online racebook!

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* REMINDER! - you must be of legal age in your state or province to legally wager on thoroughbred or harness horse racing. Please bet responsibly!