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Tips for visiting Santa Anita? update: it was great!

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  • Tips for visiting Santa Anita? update: it was great!

    I'm heading to California in a few weeks (last week of March) and managed to finagle a trip to Santa Anita.

    Anyone have any tips? Things to do, places to see, experiences not to be missed? Do we go early enough to catch morning works? Do we try the tram tour? Go for a table in the club house, try a picnic table in the infield, or somewhere else? Suggestions for dining or grabbing a cocktail? We plan on spending pretty much the whole day down there, with enough time to take in the grounds and spend some time around the paddock, but don't know anyone who's been there before so we have no idea on specifics.

    Our only racetrack experience is Saratoga, so every little suggestion is appreciated!
    Last edited by Gigi0427; Apr. 5, 2008, 04:00 PM.

  • #2
    Make it an all day trip--it's a MUST SEE

    Go early in the morning--you have to experience Clocker's Corner in all it's finest-- you'll see trainers watching their horses work- jockeys and their agents talking about their upcoming entries, maybe even a glimpse of Gary Stevens hanging out talking shop with some of the riders.
    Get a cup of coffee and a doughnut from Rosie-- she's been waiting on folks at CC for years, knows and remembers everyone--I guarantee you'll enjoy it.
    When I was there last month, I didn't make time to take the tram tour-- and I wish now that I had. I thought I was going back this month and was going to do it then, but things changed and plans got cancelled.
    I have never seen anything as majestic as the paddock, it truly is amazing, so take the time to see it all-- the statues, the plaques, and the busts of prominent people of Santa Anita.
    The only difference between a runaway and a fast gallop is nothing but a SMILE
    Most horses cross the Rainbow Bridge, but TEDDY JUMPED IT!!!
    Member of the COTH Enabler Clique


    • Original Poster

      Fantastic advice, thank you!! This is exactly what I was hoping to find out.

      And holy cow, if I see Gary Stevens out and about...I had the biggest crush on him when I was in junior high. I swear he's the reason I dated shorter men for so long.


      • #4
        Having grown up in Idaho, Gary and his brother Scott were my idols when I was a girl, and they were both soooooooooooooo hot!!! I still have a bit of a crush on Gary, and got to be friends with Scott when he rode in Northern Cal one summer, in fact I ponied him a lot that summer. They are very down to earth guys, both of them. Gary still remembers who I am, he signed a helmet for me when he rode the inagural Idaho Cup back in early '90's, and whenever I see him at a track, he asks how I've been, and we talk about his family, I know his Mom and Dad, too. So don't be shy, walk up and ask him for an autograph, he won't mind.
        The only difference between a runaway and a fast gallop is nothing but a SMILE
        Most horses cross the Rainbow Bridge, but TEDDY JUMPED IT!!!
        Member of the COTH Enabler Clique


        • #5
          That last weekend in March there is a winetasting event at the racetrack also. I have the details somewhere and I'll try to find them. And Rosie's soups are the BEST on a cold morning at Clockers Corner Rosie actually catered my 40th birthday party in Arcadia - best chicken enchiladas I ever ate


          • #6
            I met Gary a few years ago at Belmont and was immediately in love. He's charming. He's very good friends with one of my best friends andI was mortified to be introduced to him while looking like a drowned rat on a rainy day at Belmont!

            SA is beautiful. It looks nothing like SAR (my hometown track) but it's great. The scenery is awesome and it was clearly built for grandeur, though of a different era from Saratoga. You may get to see some movie stars if you are there on a big day. I've only been there for Breeders' Cups so I don't have alot of tips on what to see. (I did think that Pasadena was a lovely little city.)
            F O.B
            Resident racing historian ~~~ Re-riders Clique
            Founder of the Mighty Thoroughbred Clique


            • #7
              So for early morning workouts, can you just drive around the parking lot and park right by Clocker's Corner and go in the little gate, or do you have to go in the main grandstand gate?
              Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design


              • #8
                Either one will do. Early mornings, you can park in employee parking for example, on the far left side of the grandstand. There is a gap in the fence you can walk through right next to the security booth at owner-trainer parking. Through owner-trainer parking, and then down to the gate next to Clockers Corner...


                • Original Poster

                  Blueshadow, thank you! I just found some info on Santa Anita Uncorked and it sounds like a great time. My two favorite things in one place! The BF has us scheduled for a few wine events already up where he lives, so I'm sure he can be convinced to add one more.

                  And I've been looking for a nice horsey-themed advertisement for my living room (preferably with an art deco touch), so hopefully the poster they'll be unveiling at the Art Show will fit the bill. Actually, after a few glasses of Alex Solis's shiraz I'll probably buy it either way...


                  • #10
                    Doesn't that sound like fun?! I'll be there, and hope very much that you enjoy the visit


                    • Original Poster

                      Thank you!

                      Just wanted to say thanks for all the great advice. We went down the night before and stayed in Pasadena so we could get to the track at sunrise. Had a really nice morning, eating (a surprisingly yummy) breakfast down at Clocker's Corner and watching the morning works.

                      Took the free tram tour which was actually pretty nice. I never dreamed that I'd get to visit the silks room (so pretty!!) and walk through the jockeys' room. The tour guide told lots of interesting stories as we walked around, and I was amazed at how friendly everyone was-- lots of exercise riders and hotwalkers smiled and waved to us when we visited the barns.

                      Stayed for the whole day, had some drinks, watched all the races, wandered around, took over 300 pictures, and had overall a really nice time. And I made a whopping $8.20 profit on my bets.

                      Thank you all!


                      • #12
                        I was just wondering about your trip this morning! Glad that you enjoyed it


                        • #13
                          We just watched the race. Colonel Jones is quite a hot ticket!
                          Barbaro Cultist, Metabolic Nazi