I have lived in the Bay Area for almost fourteen years now and whenever I drive by Golden Gate fields I think to myself “hm, I should go there.” Well, I finally went!
My friend and I went for Dollar Sunday which also happened to be closing day. Entrance, programs, hot dogs, beer, and mimosas were all $1 each. A steal!
But, (what had happened was…) we ended up entering the fields at the top floor and paying $5 for entrance which granted us access to all three levels of the arena (instead of just two levels). And then a lady offered us a reserved box seat for $5 per person. The alternative was free in the sun or free in shade with a not-as-good view. So we went for it. So much for Dollar Sunday! But I’d say it was worth it. We felt real adult/fancy. And every time we left our seat we knew we could come back to it, no problem.
We did, however, partake in the dollar food. Hot dogs, beer, and mimosas for the win! Beer was Budweiser and mimosas were definitely orange juiced down, but hey – it was a dollar. Note: There are other food and drink options throughout the arena, too, but be prepared to spend stadium prices. If you want dollar items, you must exchange money for tokens and get a wristband if you’re getting alcohol.
We also, after watching a few races, decided to bet on a horse based on it’s name. We placed our bets on a horse named Cash Money…and then we lost all of our cash money because he came in seventh place. 😛
The programs have a betting guide so you know how to place your bet at the teller/window. You can even bet on races happening in other parts of the country. For our visit we kept it simple: “At Golden Gate Fields, Race 4, $5 to win on #1.” In other words, we placed our bet for Race #4 at Golden Gate Fields, and we put $5 on horse #1 (Cash Money!) to place first. For this race, we watched up close.
And then for the next race, we didn’t bet, but I guessed the winning horse correctly! #4! (Aww…)
Races happen every half hour or so. In between races you can walk around and explore the grounds, visit the horses up close, and wave hello to the jockeys and trainers.
Tips: For Dollar Sundays, you must enter the stadium at the lower level to get $1 admission. Definitely go up to the fence to get a close-up of the horses, relax, enjoy the time with your company, and bet on a horse at least once.
Yay! That was fun! Oh, PS, I wore a big hat!
Are you a derby fan? Share your horse race tales (tails? ;)) below!