Come visit Golden Gate Fields, northern California’s premier horse racing destination for in the Bay Area. Located along the San Francisco Bay in Berkeley, fans are treated to some of the best sights and sounds in the world. With an elegant Turf Club, a roomy Club House, simulcast rooms, and plenty of general admission seating, Golden Gate Fields has offered exciting thoroughbred horse racing in the Bay Area since 1941.
The racetrack is situated on a tract of land bordered on the west by Fleming Point, a rocky promontory which lies on the eastern shoreline of San Francisco Bay. Just before World War II, Golden Gate Fields built its new grandstand up against the eastern slope of Fleming Point, and adjacent marshland was filled in for the track. The inaugural meet was on February 1, 1941. Golden Gate Fields was owned and managed for 25 years by foreign car importer and horseman Kjell Qvale. It was subsequently acquired by Magna Entertainment Corp.. In March 2009, Magna filed for bankruptcy. The Stronach Group, the current owners, acquired Golden Gate Fields on July 3, 2011.
In 1950, Citation and Noor met in the Golden Gate Handicap. The English bred Noor beat the great Triple Crown winner Citation, prompting Citation's rider, Steve Brooks, to say, "We just can't beat that horse."
In 1957, the horse Silky Sullivan came to the track and with him came the excitement that followed him throughout his life. Until the death of Lost in the Fog, he was also the only horse to be buried in the infield. Lost in the Fog's plaque is the third to be placed at Golden Gate Fields, found near the one for Silky Sullivan and that for Bill Shoemaker.
The infield turf course was opened on February 22, 1972.
In 1974, the first $2 million dollar day in Northern California was held on California Derby Day.
In 1984, the great gelding John Henry set a course record winning the Golden Gate Handicap.
Before his death in 2006, Lost in the Fog was based here. On September 17, 2006, he was euthanized due to inoperable tumors found on his spleen and along his spine. Prior to his early death, Lost in the Fog ran three races at his home base — winning twice, and placing once. On September 30, 2006 Golden Gate Fields held a celebration of his life.
During the summer of 2007, the racetrack installed a polymer synthetic type racing surface as mandated by the California Horse Racing Board. The Tapeta Footings synthetic all-weather racing surface is designed to make racing safer for both horses and riders.
On February 1, 2008, on board the horse Two Step Cat, Russell Baze got his 10,000th career win as a jockey.