Golden Gate Fields: Top California Horse Racetracks in 2024

There are few California horse racetracks as beautiful today as Golden Gate Fields.

It features one of the best stadiums and general facilities in the industry, and is the site of tons of excellent races and other events every year. It’s the premier Northern California horse racetrack. Here we will give you a quick overview in case you decide you want to stop by for one of its Stakes or Derbies races.

Golden Gate Fields Fact Table

NameGolden Gate Fields Racetrack
Year Opened1941
Phone Number510-559-7300
Address1100 Eastshore Hwy, Berkeley, CA 94710
Race ScheduleDecember-June
Number of Races30+
Minimum Age to Gamble18

Golden Gate Fields Events

Golden Gate Fields Racetrack events vary from year to year.

Aside from graded events, Golden Gate Fields also has tons of ungraded stakes events and overnight handicaps including California Oaks, Albany Stakes, and China Basin Stakes. This is largely because Golden Gate Fields is the only major race track in Northern California, although there are a few smaller tracks associated with the summer fair circuit.

Anyone 18 or older can bet on races at Golden Gate Fields. Horse racing betting is one of a handful of 18+ gambling activities in California.

Beyond horse racing, Golden Gate Fields hosts a number of concerts and fair-like events throughout the year and during the main horse racing season. The season extends through the cold yet comfortable months of December to June.

If Prop 26 had passed in November 2022, Golden Gate Fields could have opened a retail sportsbook. However, it failed to pass, making California sports betting still illegal until the 2024 election at the earliest.

Online Betting at Golden Gate Fields

California horse race betting enthusiasts will be able to use several apps for online betting at Golden Gate Fields.

The staple horse racing app TVG, for example, allows users to bet on live horse racing throughout the season. It’s also incredibly easy to watch live streams for any race, and offers one of the biggest collections of live-streamed horse races around.

Golden Gate Fields itself also allows online betting through 1st Bet, an app for wager analysis, AI-assisted handicapping, and betting for over 300 racetracks. HD live streaming makes it a great way to enjoy horse racing remotely.

Of course, you can use the app to bet on Golden Gate Fields races and take advantage of special offers thanks to its association with the track.

See our Guide to Horse Race Betting in California

Golden Gate Fields Racetrack Information

Max Per Race Payout$15,000
Main Track1 mile, oval
Width of Stretch78 feet
Width of Backstretch75 feet
Turf9/10 mile

Golden Gate Fields Racetrack Facility

Golden Gate Fields has a lot to offer in terms of its stadium and facilities. The Turf Club is an ideal spot if you want to watch the race in comfort and luxury, and tickets are only $12 on weekdays. The Club offers panoramic views of the race track and the San Francisco Bay alike. A casual yet surprisingly elegant dining experience awaits.

The Club House is another great facility where you can enjoy the races in comfort. HD TVs are always nearby in case you want to view the races without having to crane your neck. Concession stands are available throughout the House and the grandstand, so finding food or beverages isn’t too difficult.

Interestingly, admission for children is always free every day. Guests are even able to visit the paddocks to meet jockeys and see the horses. As such, Golden Gate Fields is a perfect horse racetrack for families.

Beyond the track, the amenities and services of San Francisco are not far away. Numerous hotels and dining locations are just around the corner, as the stadium is located right off Interstate 80.

See our Guide to Gambling in Northern California

Golden Gate Fields History

Originally, the land on which Golden Gate Fields now rests was part of Rancho San Antonio, owned by José Domingo Peralta. It was sold in 1852 to John Fleming, who turned it into a dynamite and nitroglycerin manufacturing plant — it actually blew up twice, in both 1879 and 1892.

Horse racing only came on the scene thanks to the Oakland Trotting Track, which was open from 1871 until 1911 and which was about 2 miles south of the Golden Gate Fields’ future location. Horse racing was banned in 1911, but was later reinstated in 1933 when California repealed the overall ban on horse racing.

Golden Gate Fields finally became a site for horse racing in 1941, when a new grandstand was built on the eastern side of Fleming Point. It was closed down in World War II, when the track and property became a Naval landing force equipment depot. Horse racing resumed after the conclusion of the war.

It was owned and managed for 25 years by Kjell Qvale, a horseman himself. It passed hands several times throughout the next few decades until 2011, when the current owners, the Stronach Group, took ownership.

More recently, Golden Gate Fields hired the first full-time female race caller named Angela Hermann. Today, as the last remaining big Northern California horse race track, it hosts events from December to June and serves as a focal point for horse racing throughout the state.

Golden Gate Fields Racetrack FAQs

Does the Golden Gate Fields horse racetrack have ATMs, or do you need to bring cash?

You can find a few ATMs. However, concession stands or tellers will be more accessible if you bring cash along with you.

How often do races run at Golden Gate Fields?

Every half hour. This gives guests plenty of time to explore and roam the grounds.

How can you get to the Golden Gate Fields horse racetrack from parking?

There’s a free shuttle to the races. You can also get there via the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) public transportation system.

How much does parking cost at Golden Gate Fields?

General parking is free on Thursday and Friday and costs $6 on Saturday and $1 on Sunday.

When is first post on most horse race days at Golden Gate Fields?

First post normally occurs at 12:45 p.m. or 12:15 p.m. PT depending on the exact racing schedule.

About the Author

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of California Casinos. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.