California Horseracing

Pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing in California was legalized on June 27, 1933 after voters approved Proposition 5. In September of that same year, Fairplex Park became the first track in Southern California to offer pari-mutuel wagering.

The rest of the 1930s saw the rapid growth of horseracing in California with the opening of Bay Meadows, Santa Anita and Del Mar. Santa Anita was even the first thoroughbred track to install photo finish cameras.

On August 12, 1938, the legendary Seabiscuit, with "Iceman" George Woolf aboard, outduels Ligaroti, ridden by Spec Richardson, to win their historic $25,000 match race before 20,000 at the track and a nationwide radio audience. Sporting types note the race put Del Mar "on the map."

In 1939, Bay Meadows introduced the first ever electric, all enclosed starting gate, invented by Clay Puett.

On February 1, 1941 Golden Gate Fields had its inaugural meeting in rainy and muddy conditions. Shookumchuck, a horse bred by Bing Crosby, wins the first race under apprentice Eddie Franklin.

Today, California continues its rich horseracing history with the introduction of new generation tracks. Hollywood Park has a cushion track for training. Golden Gate Fields has a revolutionary, all-weather Tapeta racing surface.

In 2010, California was named as first state in which all major thoroughbred racetracks were fully accredited by the National Thoroughbred Racing Association Safety and Integrity Alliance.

California Horseracing Tracks

California Horseracing Fairs

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Horseracing Tracks