Santa Anita Park & Horse Betting 2024

Santa Anita Park is a historic racing course that has hosted some of the most famous horse racing champions over the years. With a breathtaking backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains, the horse racetrack offers fun for the whole family as well as dedicated horse racing enthusiasts.

Below we will further explore the course’s offerings — which would have included a retail sportsbook had California sports betting not been struck down in the November 2022 election.

Santa Anita Fact Table

NameSanta Anita Park
Year Opened1934
Phone Number626-574-7223
Address285 W Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA 91007
Race ScheduleDecember-June
Number of Races100
Minimum Age to Gamble18

Popular Santa Anita Park Events

Santa Anita Park is the location of a significant number of Grades I-III racing events. American Oaks, Gamely Stakes, Arcadia Stakes, Zenyatta Stakes, Daytona Stakes, and niche races like the Tokyo City Cup have all been held here at one time or another. Many of these events take place at Santa Anita Park every year.

Other races including the California Cup Oaks and Derby have also been held in the past.

In 2019, Santa Anita Park hosted the Breeders’ Cup for the 10th time. Many of the aforementioned racing events are among the most profitable and popular in the sport.

Any guest 18 or older can bet on races at Santa Anita. Horse betting is one of handful of ways to legally gamble at 18 in California.

Interestingly, Santa Anita Park has been the location of several racing sequences for the nearby Hollywood industries. For instance, classic films like A Star Is Born (1937) and The Story of Seabiscuit (1949) had sequences filmed at Santa Anita Park.

Outside of racing, Santa Anita Park is also one of the most popular event venues in the state. The 626 Night Market, which comes every year during the summer, typically draws up to 100,000 people over the course of the three-day weekend. The event includes live music, cosplay contests, dance competitions, and much more.

Online Horse Betting at Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park can be enjoyed through online betting apps like TVG, which is a great choice thanks to its 24/7 streaming capabilities and fantastic app design. However, other online horse racing apps like TwinSpires and BUSR also offer streaming and betting opportunities for Santa Anita Park races.

That said, the official wagering partner of Santa Anita Park is Xpressbet. You can open an account from the Santa Anita Park website or the Xpressbet site. Doing so through the Santa Anita Park website also gives you 30 free minutes of streaming on the app.

The app includes no per wager fees and includes free deposits and withdrawals whenever you like.

Santa Anita Park Racetrack Information

Max Per Race Payout$30,000
Main TrackCushion, 1 mile, oval
Width of Stretch85 feet
Width of Backstretch80 feet
CompositionCushion track
Turf9/10 mile

Santa Anita Park Facility

There’s a lot to see and like at Santa Anita Park. The Frontrunner is a panoramic restaurant and race viewing area featuring a 215-foot long bar and a seasonally revolving menu. Furthermore, the Turf Terrace — an open-air seating area — allows fans to watch racing while also enjoying a sit-down dining experience.

Santa Anita Park also offers private rooms called “The Suites” with personal wagering machines, Internet access, unobstructed views of the track, and luxurious indoor and outdoor seating areas. The Clockers’ Corner patio is an outdoor and social environment where you can have breakfast and sometimes meet horsemen.

The rest of the facilities are generally well-organized and kept quite clean. Concessions booths dot the stands, and there are plenty of restaurants. Furthermore, Santa Anita Park is within driving distance for all the major LA metropolitan area airports. Similar hotel accommodations are never too far, as well, thanks to the track’s location — a Motel 6 is literally right down the road.

One last thing all guests can participate in is the Seabiscuit Tour. Guests are able to board a free tram, which takes them around the entire park and to Seabiscuit’s original stall and barn. Tours depart in the morning on both Saturday and Sunday during live racing seasons.

See our Guide to Horse Race Betting in California

Santa Anita Park History

Santa Anita Park has a rich history, with its first racetrack being built in 1904 outside the burgeoning city of Los Angeles. However, the track was closed in 1909 and burned down in 1912.

After 1933, when California legalized pari-mutuel wagering, several investors opened up the present-day track at its current location in 1934. At that time, it became the first formally established racetrack in California.

The first Santa Anita Handicap was run in 1935, beginning a long horse racing tradition. This hallmark race also included a $100,000 purse, which was the largest of any horse race in the US ever at that time.

Notable races continued for the next few decades, including the career of Seabiscuit, who won the Santa Anita Handicap in 1940. World War II saw the recent activity suspended, as the track and Park were used for the internment of Japanese-Americans. The track reopened in 1945 after the war ended.

The first major renovation came about in the 1960s, and 1984 saw Santa Anita Park become the site for equestrian events for the 1984 Olympics. In the decades that followed, racing and profitable crowds continued.

Statues of various jockeys and several horses have been constructed over time. To date, there are statues of George Woolf, Bill Shoemaker, Zenyatta, and more.

See our Guide to Gambling in Southern California

Santa Anita Park FAQs

Is there parking available for horse racing at Santa Anita Park?

Yes. There is on-site parking. You can also take the Metro transit service, which goes through Arcadia and somewhat into LA. Santa Anita Park provides 25% off all rides to and from the races using promo codes that can be retrieved from the website.

Are there Spanish resources available for Santa Anita Park?

Yes. A Spanish version of the Santa Anita Park website is available.

Can you host a private event at Santa Anita Park?

Yes. The facility has enough infrastructure to host events of almost any size. You just have to call ahead of time.

Can you wager for horse racing with the Santa Anita Park mobile app?

Yes, but only if you are on-site at the time. You cannot use the app for wagers off the track (though you can use its other features).

How much are tickets for horse racing at the Santa Anita Park track?

Tickets are $10 to enter the Club House. However, general admission varies between $10-$15 depending on the races.

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.