California Race Tracks: Where to Bet on Horse Races in CA

Learn about California's race tracks and legal horse race betting options

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You’ll find a myriad of high-profile California race tracks here, as well as a host of off-track betting facilities and annual fairs featuring live racing in California. Even if you can’t make it to the tracks, you’re still in luck, as the state permits betting sites to offer pari mutuel betting online for fans within its borders.

Most Popular California Race Tracks

Del Mar Racing

Address: 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, California 92014
Phone: 858-755-1141

Del Mar Racing offers an exciting California horse racing experience with up to 30 live races a week from July to September and in November. For the rest of the year, you can still enjoy the thrill of betting through their off-track betting facility. You have a wide range of betting options including win, place, show, trifecta, superfecta, exacta, rolling double, pick four, super high five, and pari mutuel.

Del Mar

To enhance your betting experience, Del Mar offers a convenient betting app. The venue boasts 10 on-site restaurants serving a variety of American and Mexican cuisines to satisfy your palate. The main racetrack, a one-mile-long oval with chutes for 7/8 and one-and-a-quarter mile races, offers 44,000 seats, providing ample space for spectators.

Del Mar is renowned for thoroughbred betting events, with popular races including the Del Mar Futurity, Bing Crosby Stakes, Del Mar Oaks, and the Del Mar Debutante Stakes. While there isn’t a hotel on-site, Del Mar will recommend partner hotels that offer discounted rates, ensuring your experience is comfortable and enjoyable.

Los Alamitos

Address: 4961 E Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, California 90720
Phone: 714-820-2800

With both simulcast and off-track betting, you’re never far from the action. The establishment has 150 screens to ensure you don’t miss a moment, and a seating capacity of 17,500, so you’re guaranteed a great view.

Los Alamitos

You’ll appreciate the freedom to place any type of bet, from win, quintella, superfecta, trifecta, place, show, exacta, and more. Depending on your package, you could be in the Clubhouse, Winner’s Circle, or even the high-end Vessels Club. If you opt for the Vessels Club, you can watch the race from the comfort of an indoor table or the terrace, which boasts a direct view of the track.

The racetrack itself is a mile-long oval, featuring the longest homestretch in American racing at 1,380 feet. It’s a wide track with a 100-foot final straightaway and an 85-foot home turn, hosting a variety of thoroughbred, quarter horse, Arabian, and harness races.

Santa Anita Park

Address: 285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, California, 91007
Phone: 626-754-7223

At Santa Anita Park, your horse racing betting experience promises to be nothing short of thrilling. During the fall, winter, and spring, you can immerse yourself in the excitement of live racing seasons. When live racing isn’t in season, you can still get in on the action with live betting on simulcasted events, running 3-4 times a week.

Choose from a full range of bets including win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, and quintella. For those looking for a bit more excitement, you can try your hand at special bets like pick 3, daily double, and rolling high.

Santa Anita Park

With a whopping 38,897 seats available, you’re guaranteed a clear view of the track. Comfort levels vary depending on your package and preference, but rest assured, every seat offers a great view. The establishment boasts over 2,000 screens so you won’t miss a moment of the action.

For a seamless betting experience, use the available mobile betting app. The park hosts popular races like the American Oaks, Santa Anita Derby, Malibu Stakes, and the Hollywood Gold Cup Stakes.

Golden Gate Fields

Address: 1100 Eastshore Hwy, Berkeley, California 94710xx
Phone: 510-559-7300

Annually, throughout October, you can enjoy live races right on the track. For the rest of the year, you can still enjoy the thrill of the sport with off-track betting on races from all around the country.

Whether you prefer straightforward bets like win, place, and show, or more complex ones like trifecta, exacta, quintella, and parlays, you’ll find your perfect fit. And with the convenience of a mobile betting app, you can place your bets anytime, anywhere.

Golden Gate Fields

Inside the establishment, 300 screens ensure you won’t miss a moment of the action. For an even more immersive experience, consider a package from the Turf Club. This could give you the unique opportunity to meet winning jockeys in the Winner’s Circle.

With a racetrack that’s 9/10 of a mile long, and hosting thoroughbred racing events exclusively, Golden Gate Fields promises a premium horse racing experience.

Alameda County Fairgrounds

Address: 4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton, California, 94566
Phone: 925-426-7600

With a mile-long racetrack and a homestretch of 1,085 feet, you’re guaranteed an exhilarating experience. The fairgrounds offer both thoroughbred and quarter horse racing, ensuring a diverse racing experience.

Your betting options are vast, from straight bets like win, place, and show, to exotic bets such as quintella, exacta, trifecta, superfecta, pick 3, and the daily double. With these options, every race brings a new opportunity to strategize and win.

Alameda County Fairgrounds

Comfort is key at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. With 6,608 seats available, you’ll always have a great view of the action. Plus, with 150 screens scattered throughout the establishment, you won’t miss a beat.

Beyond the racetrack, the fairgrounds are a sprawling 240-acre complex with corporate meeting halls, banquet halls, restaurants and bars, a market, and a golf course.

List of All California Race Tracks

Explore our comprehensive list of all California race tracks.

RacetrackAddressPhone NumberBetting allowed?
Del Mar Racing2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, California 92014858-755-1141Yes
Golden Gate Fields1100 Eastshore Hwy, Berkeley, California 94710510-559-7300Yes
Los Alamitos4961 E Katella Ave, Los Alamitos, California 90720714-820-2800Yes
Santa Anita Park285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, California, 91007626-754-7223Yes
Alameda County Fairgrounds4501 Pleasanton Ave, Pleasanton, California, 94566925-426-7600Yes
California Exposition & State Fair1600 Exposition Blvd, Sacramento, California 95815916-263-3000Yes
Humboldt County Fair1250 5th St, Ferndale, California 95536707-786-9511Yes
Sonoma County Fairgrounds1350 Bennett Valley Rd, Santa Rosa, California 95404707-545-4200Yes
Fresno Fairgrounds1121 South Chance Ave, Fresno, California 93702559-650-3247Yes

Simulcast Wagering in California

In California, simulcast wagering is completely legal, making it an exciting option for those who love the races but can’t always be at the track. The state is home to numerous simulcast betting locations, each offering a unique environment for race enthusiasts.

Here’s a list of simulcast wagering facilities, where you can place your off-track bets:

Betting LocationAddress
Antelope Valley Fair & Event Center2551 West Avenue H, Lancaster, California 93536
Hollywood Park Casino3383 W Century Blvd, Inglewood, California 90303
Glen Arden Club357 Arden Ave, Glendale, California 91203
National Orange Show930 S Arrowhead Ave, San Bernardino, California 92408
San Bernardino County Fair14800 Seventh St, Victorville, California 92395
Pomona at Fairplex2201 N White Ave, Pomona, California 91768
San Mateo Events Center2495 S Delaware Ave, San Mateo, California 94403
Southern California Fair & Event Center18700 Lake Perris Dr, Perris, California 92571
Solano County Fairgrounds900 Fairgrounds Dr, Vallejo, California 94589
Ventura County Fairgrounds10 West Harbour Blvd, Ventura, California 93001
San Joaquin County Fair1658 Airport Way, Stockton, California 95206
Viejas Casino & Turf Club5000 Willows Rd, Alpine, California 91901
Santa Clara County Fairgrounds344 Tully Rd, San Jose, California 95111
Fantasy Springs Casino84-245 Indio Springs Pkwy, Indio, California 92203
Monterey County Fairgrounds2004 Fairground Rd, Monterey, California 93940

Popular Horse Races in California with Dates

In this section, we’re going to introduce you to a range of races that are hosted in California. Keep reading to find out when these events are held, allowing you to plan your visit.

Horse RacesRacing DatesWhere to Bet
Awesome Again StakesSeptemberSanta Anita Park
Pacific Classic StakesAugustDel Mar
Del Mar FuturitySeptemberDel Mar
American Pharoah StakesSeptemberSanta Anita Park
Bing Crosby StakesJulyDel Mar
Rodeo Drive StakesOctoberSanta Anita Park
Del Mar OaksAugustDel Mar
Clement L Hirsch StakesJulyDel Mar
American OaksDecemberSanta Anita Park
Frank E Kilroe MileMarchSanta Anita Park
Santa Anita DerbyAprilSanta Anita Park
La Brea StakesDecemberSanta Anita Park
Shoemaker Mile StakesMaySanta Anita Park
Beholder Mile StakesMarchSanta Anita Park
Gamely StakesMaySanta Anita Park
Malibu StakesDecemberSanta Anita Park
Del Mar Debutante StakesSeptemberDel Mar
Hollywood Gold Cup StakesMaySanta Anita Park
Santa Anita HandicapMarchSanta Anita Park
Starlet StakesDecemberLos Alamitos

Types of Horse Betting in California

In California, there are a variety of bets you can place, each with its own level of risk and reward. Single bets are the most straightforward – you simply wager on a horse to win, place (finish first or second), or show (finish in the top three).

If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can venture into the realm of multiple horse bets or exotic bets. These include the exacta (picking the first two finishers in exact order), quinella (picking the first two finishers in any order), trifecta (picking the first three finishers in exact order), superfecta (picking the first four finishers in exact order), and double (picking the winners of two consecutive races).

California offers a wide range of horses to bet on, including quarter horses, known for their explosive speed over short distances, and thoroughbreds, revered for their stamina and agility. Whether you’re a seasoned bettor or a novice, California’s horse racing scene has something to get your heart racing.

Other Types of Gambling in California

Check out all you need to know about California gambling laws and other forms of gambling in the state:

History of California Horse Racing

California horse racing has a rich and varied history. It all began in 1858 when the first horse racetrack was launched, marking the start of a new era in the state’s sporting culture. You could wager on horse races, immersing yourself in the thrill and excitement of the sport. However, in 1909, betting on horse races was banned, putting a temporary halt to this popular pastime.

Fast forward to 1933, and the voters approved pari mutuel wagering on horse races. This led to the establishment of the California Horse Racing Board, a major milestone in the state’s horse racing history. The following year, Santa Anita Park opened its gates, quickly becoming a beloved institution.

In 1937, you could have been among the spectators at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s inaugural race at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, with co-founder Bing Crosby in attendance. Flash forward to 1977, and you’d witness Golden Gate Fields setting a new attendance record when 26,108 fans watched the California Derby.

In 1984, Santa Anita Park hosted equestrian events for the Olympics. The following year, a record-breaking 85,527 fans turned out for the Santa Anita Handicap. Also in 1985, off-track betting for horse racing was legalized, opening up new avenues for wagering.

Fast forward to 2002, and advance deposit wagering on horse racing via online sites was legalized, bringing the sport into the digital age. However, in 2008, several historical racetracks closed in the state, marking the end of an era.

In 2018, the PASPA: Sports Protection Act was abolished, causing a significant shift in the betting landscape. However, the following year, the industry was hit hard following a series of deaths at California race tracks, with 37 racehorses dying at Santa Anita Park alone. This tragic event brought about renewed calls for reform and greater safety measures in the sport.

California Gambling FAQ

Is California horse racing legal?

US gambling laws by state vary, but California racing is legal. You can enjoy both watching and betting on horse races in the state. This has been the case since 1933 when voters approved pari mutuel wagering on horse races. It’s overseen by the California Horse Racing Board to ensure all activities are conducted fairly and transparently.

Can I bet on horse races in other states?

Absolutely, you can bet on horse races in other states through the use of simulcast betting facilities. These facilities broadcast races from across the country and even internationally, allowing you to place wagers as if you were there in person. It’s a great way to engage with horse racing from afar and opens up a wider range of betting opportunities. Always remember to practice responsible gambling and understand the rules of the facility you’re using.

What’s the largest race track in California?

The largest racetrack in California is the Santa Anita Park. It’s located in Arcadia and has a one-mile main dirt track, which is the largest in the state. The park also has a turf course measuring 9/10ths of a mile. It’s a beautiful and historic venue that’s hosted numerous prestigious races, making it a must-visit for any horse racing enthusiast.

Can I bet on horse races online in California?

Yes, you can bet on horse races online in California. The state allows for advance deposit wagering, which means you can fund an account with a licensed site and place your bets. This gives you the flexibility to engage in horse race betting from the comfort of your own home or on the go. Just remember to bet responsibly and verify that the site you’re using is licensed and regulated by the US state and federal gaming commissions.

How can I bet on California horse racing events?

You have several options to bet on California horse racing events. You can visit California racetracks for in-person betting where you can experience the race live. Another option is to use simulcast betting facilities, which allow you to bet on races happening at different locations. Additionally, you can use online betting sites, which offer the convenience of placing bets from anywhere at any time.

What’s the minimum age to bet on horses in California?

In California, you must be at least 18 years old to bet on horse races. This applies whether you’re betting at a racetrack, through a simulcast, or online. Always remember to gamble responsibly and within the legal guidelines for gambling age by state.

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