It’s official. Santa Anita Race Track is possibly the best kept “secret” in Los Angeles. But I’m afraid a day at the races is just too much fun not to put on blast so I’M letting you know, if you have not yet been, you are completely missing out. I’ve lived in LA for quite some time and I’m truly disappointed to admit that it wasn’t until a few weeks ago that I’d finally made a day out of going to watch the horse races at Santa Anita Park.
I grew up in the Bay Area going to Bay Meadows in San Mateo, every single Friday night with my dad until I was 11, so I’m no stranger to the track but Santa Anita is on a whole other level. When you drive up to the park, you feel as though you’re being transported into another time, another time when racing was at its pinnacle of popularity. They’ve really managed to maintain Santa Anita’s majestic grandeur and elegance, it’s simply awe-inspiring. Being surrounded by such incredible stateliness motivates people to come out in their Sunday best, and girls, this is the place to fancy up on a weekend afternoon. Grab that big hat, put that dress in the back of your closet on, throw on some big shades and a pair of heels! Of course there is no obligation to get dolled up, there are plenty of people who come more casual, but personally I say screw it. Dressing up is part of the fun. The other part of the fun is of course what actually happens at the Park, like eating, drinking, and watching the races.
Grabbing brunch/lunch or even just mimosas/bloody mary’s with your race day pals at FrontRunner is a must – if you thought the Park was stately, wait until you walk in and catch a glimpse of view from the dining room. But the reason you really head to Santa Anita is for the races, and being a part of the whole “race” experience is just plain fun. Starting with watching the horses get tacked up in the paddock, deciding which ones look like they really want to run around (and win), placing your bets thereafter (solely based on how clever their name is, if you’re like me), then watching from a box or the stands, and finally ending with hopefully winning some money. There’s no experience like it in Los Angeles. I’m not big on betting, but there is no sweeter feeling than winning even just $2 at the race track – such sweet, sweet victory.
The weekend before last was actually closing weekend for this seasons meet at Santa Anita, so apologies if I just got you all pumped up to go to the track this weekend to find you actually can’t go, but don’t fret my pets, the doors will open back up in September when the weather is hopefully a little cooler and more comfortable. I’ll be sure to let everyone know when we’re back in business but the point is to keep it in mind. I kept saying it all last weekend (and a few weekends before that), I can’t believe how much fun the whole day was. It was one of the most fun experiences I’ve had in LA yet, and I whole heartedly mean that – I’ve officially fallen back in love with hanging at the race track.
If you’re interested in attending opening day/weekend and the gorgeous Del Mar track in the San Diego area, it’s happening July 17 – July 20 and I’ll be out there for it as well with my new race buddies at americasbestracing.net – big hat, high heels, red lips and all. Heading to Santa Anita or even Del Mar is an awesome day adventure for you Angelenos and especially for you visitors looking for something really cool to do; it’s at most 30-40 minutes away from wherever you are. Grab some friends, get dressed up, and get your butts to the races. It’s cool again.