*Disclosure: Thank you to America's Best Racing and Santa Anita Park for being so awesome and hosting myself and some fellow bloggers for a fun day at the races. All photos and opinions are my own.
Last week I attended the Opening Day at Santa Anita Park. I had been to Santa Anita Park twice before, once for a concert when I was a kid (Tower of Power), and once a few years ago for a food truck festival (Yum!). But I have never been to the races. This was my first time to watch the races, have a drink and place some bets.
There is this whole community of people, (I want to say "underground" community of people, but that's only because it is unfamiliar to me) who frequent the race track. These people can make sense of the madness that is the Daily Racing Program. When I was first handed the program, I looked at it, then looked at my mom, (my date for the day) we looked around, and then looked back at the program, maybe hoping it would look differently the second time around. No such luck. There is a ton of information, but all I knew was to pick a name, and place a bet. The names of the horses are definitely part of the fun. I am proud to say I won $6 thanks to Proven Warrior and lost while betting on Chicsdigtheshark. The names are seriously part of the fun.
This year Santa Anita Park celebrates their 78th year as one of the world's premier thoroughbred racecourses. Walking through the clubhouse and around the park, you definitely get a feel for the history that lives there. They have done a great job of maintaining the integrity of the past and incorporating the future. Along with the nostalgic architecture of the early 1900's, you are still welcomed by their free Wi-fi and TV screens to watch the races.
I made sure to visit the saddling stalls to see the horses and trainers as they prep for the races.
I think this one was in a zone!
Okay, so I couldn't get through this post without talking about the FOOD! Honestly, I expected to have a hot dog and chips, and was perfectly fine with that. But then I was introduced to the food in the Grandstand, and I was pleasantly surprised to find some wonderful options. I had a Carved Sandwich. What kind of Carved Sandwich you ask? A prime rib carved sandwich! Oh yeah, it was delicious and only $9! The Pasta bowl was from the Pasta Bar where you can customize your pasta, sauce, protein, and garnishes. It was easily a serving for two and really tasty for also only $9! The food there is great and if you want a hot dog, they have gourmet options for that too! If you are like me, and wonder about food options, you can check that out here!
Here we are placing our bets, my mom was "the pro" because she had been to the races twice before and won $90 one time. Haha, this makes her a pro in my book.
I caught this Jockey on the way out and just thought it was pretty cool.
Now that I have been once, I am definitely itching to go back. The place is beautiful, the environment is fun and exciting and the food and drinks are great! If you are visiting or living in SoCal, you need to make this one of your stops.
If you are looking for something fun to do with the whole family, the weekends at Santa Anita Park are perfect!
The Family Fun Zone is the best way to bring your family to the excitement of horse racing! The kids will enjoy the inflatable jumpers, carnival games, face painters, pony rides, meet Seabiscuit, the Santa Anita Playground, and more, while you enjoy live horse racing.
The $40 Family Fun 4-Pack Includes:
4 General Admission Passes
2 Daily Racing Programs
4 Hot Dogs, Chips, & Medium Sodas
2 Pony Rides
2 Face Paintings
8 Carnival Games
Here are some other upcoming events:
Saturday, October 12, 2013 is Oktoberfest at Santa Anita Park. Go and celebrate with authentic German Food and Craft Beers as well as Live music from the Spazmatics and Boogie Nights.
On Columbus Day, Monday, October 14, 2013 go to Santa Anita Park and get $1 beer, hot dogs and sodas! Can't beat that!
Check out all of the events going on at Santa Anita Park! I can't wait to go back, so hopefully I'll see you there.