My family was looking for a place to (hopefully) witness history as California Chrome raced for the Triple Crown. After calling all around we decided that the best bang for our buck sounded like it would be the prominent Santa Anita Race Track. This was my first time at Santa Anita, and my husband’s and daughter’s first experience at any race track, and we were NOT disappointed!!!!
The racetrack has beautiful views of the San Gabriel mountains, and the architecture and décor scream old 1930’s Hollywood Glam!! You just felt a little part of history knowing so many old Hollywood legends had graced those very halls.
There are so many options for entrance & seating fees, it can get kind of confusing and overwhelming. But after many phone calls to the track, and trying to figure out the best place to sit and the ticket pricing, we opted for the Clubhouse level. Best decision ever!!! Our seats were $10.00/each; with entrance into the Clubhouse being an additional $10.00/each. However, children under 12 do not need to pay for entrance into the Clubhouse. So, all total we paid $30.00 for seats + $20.00 into the Clubhouse, for a total of $50.00. For our entrance fee we were able to reserve our own box seat, in the shade, on the Clubhouse level for the entire day!! We had a large box that would have accommodated up to 5 people, with our own closed-circuit TV that was simulcasting races and results from various tracks all over the nation. Our seats were almost center of the track and with fantastic views!!
Throughout the day they had events, bounce houses and food trucks out in the infield, and admission to the infield was also included in our entrance fee.
Before the races, we walked out to the paddock area outside the track where we could watch the horses before they entered the track. We were really up close and personal when each of them walked by!!
We dressed up and enjoyed slow roasted sandwiches for lunch at the Carvery, along with their signature purple drink, the California Chrome. The food & drink was good, and definitely a little over priced, but since you aren’t allowed to bring food & beverage into the park, you figure you are going to be paying for meals & snacks if you plan to stay all day.
We didn’t do too much betting, at least with real money. By the 3rd time my daughter randomly guessed correctly the horse that won, I let her put a $2.00 wage on the next race, and she lost. Had we won, we probably would have broke even for the day.
We will absolutely be going back to Santa Anita for a Day at the Races; our experience was so exciting!! There is nothing that I would have changed in hindsight. The only disappointment was that the Seabiscuit tour was closed the day we were there, so we’ll just have to enjoy that on our next visit.
Santa Anita park is more than just horse racing, they offer theme days for the family that are so much fun. The kids get to watch the races and also feast on yummy food and other entertainment. Its a bit pricy for a full family to stay all day but you definitely get your moneys worth. Arrive early to avoid the masses right around race time!
Located just a few miles east of Pasadena, Santa Anita Park is more than just a racetrack. The architecture is art deco, and the cuisine is outstanding. Thoroughbred racing is the main event at the track, but this 320-acre park is relaxing, exquisitely landscaped, and worth the trip. The Seabiscuit tram tour includes riding by Seabiscuit’s barn, looking at the locations where the movie Seabiscuit was filmed in 2003, observing the daily activities of the stable area during training, discovering the receiving barn, and having a “never-before-permitted” look inside the jockeys’ room, the saddling paddock, and more, all with detailed explanations. Tours depart from the tram boarding area across from the receiving barn at 8:30 A.M. and 10:00 A.M. every Saturday and Sunday during racing season only. Free. Family Fun Days (noon to 4:00 P.M.) include free activities in the infield. Call for weekend schedule.