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A Day at the Races {Santa Anita Race Track}

It’s tough living the “suite” life … which is exactly what we did on Opening Day of Santa Anita Race Track’s 2016 season!

Aptly named #theGreatRacePlace, it is absolutely the place you want to visit this year.  After undergoing a ton of incredible renovations, it has a whole new look — and it definitely isn’t your Grandpa’s weekend haunt anymore.


We started the day off by entering through the Chandelier Room — a gorgeous hall (with — you guessed it — chandeliers) featuring live jazz music and food stations from featured guest restaurant The Church Key in DTLA.

The fam and I snacked on sliders, prime rib, and milled around with champagne in our hands, while we watched ladies in big hats chat with men scouring their betting booklets.  We decided to head up to the suite, and got settled in with Mint Juleps and Moscow Mules while we decided how to place our bets.

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I, for one, have a very scientific way of choosing my favorite horses to bet on: the one with the most creative or silly name gets ALL MY MONEY.

{Okay, okay, it didn’t work out so well for the first few races.  BUT, we were pretty stoked when we won a trifecta (successfully predicting which horse will win 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place) on the last race!}

One of our favorite parts of the day was getting a tour of the paddock and the walking ring, where horses are led out to be paired up with their jockey.  Seeing them up close made me feel like I was making an educated decision when it came to betting (ha!) but mostly it was just awesome to be a part of all the pomp and circumstance around racing.



Making a bet was a cinch — if you are in a suite, there are automated betting machines in each one.  Or, there are tons of live tellers around the stadium to take your bets in person.  Don’t worry, they are used to people having no idea what they are doing — luckily, everyone was very patient with us 🙂


Of course, we loved channeling our inner “My Fair Lady” while cheering for each race, which resulted in me almost completely losing my voice. #worthit.

There are so many options for people of varying budgets [hint: on most Thursdays and Fridays, parking and general admission are FREE!], and I’d have to say, most of these deals are a total steal!  Here are a few to pique your interest:

  • Bud Light Lounge [$20] includes general admission, lounge entry, All-You-Can-Eat Buffet, your first Bud Light/Budweiser FREE, and $3 Bud Light/Budweiser/Specialty cocktails all day!
  • Farrier’s Package [$35 Thurs + Fri, $50 Sat/Sun/Mon holidays] includes Club House admission, private box, a craft brew, an entree from one of the Club House Mezzanine eateries, plus a commemorative pint glass! must make minimum purchase of 2 packages
  • Club House Box [$10-$60, seats 4-6 people] << that’s the total cost, guys– depending on where you sit, this works out to anywhere from $5-$10/person for your own box!


Note: be sure to check the dress code for your section — some do require that you dress a little nicer than usual!

You will NOT want to miss events like the Sunshine Millions Wine Festival on January 30th, Dollar Beers, Hot Dogs, and Sodas on February 15th, or the Santa Anita Chili Cookoff on February 27th!

Okayyyyy Santa Anita Race Track, just take our money already! 😉  Pull out your big hats, free up some dollar bills, and get yourself down to the races!



eternal horse lover that still wants a pony for Christmas {a.k.a. Nicole, Team LL805}

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  1. Ashten
    3 years ago

    My grandpa was a race horse trainer and my mom grew up on that track. No joke!

    1. Tanisha
      3 years ago

      That’s crazy! I wanted to be a jockey when I (Tanisha) was little hahaha!


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