Welcome to Santa Anita Race Track! Try to find a parking space and come on in!
See, that's funny, but it's not. With off track and online betting available these days, not many people actually go to the track anymore. That's a shame because it's an exciting sport to watch in person and this track is absolutely gorgeous.
As we make our way to the grandstand entrance, let's take a look at the Club House entrance and enjoy this amazing Art Deco style.
We'll just walk around this fountain and head into the grandstand.
Here's a look inside. Beautiful, isn't it? This was early in the morning, well before the races started. That's why there's no one around.
Now let's go outside and take a look at the track itself. This is why Santa Anita is considered one of the most beautiful horse racing tracks, if not the most beautiful horse racing track in the world. Look at that backdrop with the San Gabriel mountains in the distance. This was a pretty nice day for a visit.
Moving down to the railing and looking west. The dirt track is on our right, the grandstand to our left. Early morning sun at our back.
The starting gate.
Now, what about the horses...
There's one. The photo confirms we're at the right place.
Apparently horses like to horse around. This one is sticking its tongue out at me.
Getting in a run during the morning workouts.
Okay. No more workouts, the races have started. This was one of several attempts at a panning shot: trying to follow the moving horses with the camera and take a photo with a slow shutter speed to blur the background but keep the horses in focus. Much, much harder than I expected. This is the only one where everything wasn't blurred. Neat effect when it works.
No more panning. This is a straight on shot of the horses coming around the last turn and taken with a fast shutter speed.
Unless you're in front, you eat dirt.
Time to head back home now. I'll end this trip with with a black and white of horse and rider looking very peaceful while keeping an eye on the activity around them.
As usual, there were far more things to photograph than would fit in a reasonably sized post. Santa Anita Race Track is one of those places you really should see in person. If you're not into racing, the tram tour is fun and really very interesting. And Free. I highly recommend it.
Mileage from Monrovia: Close. Arcadia is the city next door to the west. The distance from the Monrovia Public Library in downtown Monrovia to the track is about 3 miles.
Travel time: About 10-15 minutes, depending on traffic.
Prices: Anywhere from $5.00 (General admission) to $20.00 (Turf Club).
Parking ranges from $4.00 (General ) to $10.00 (Valet).
Food: Multiple locations from restaurants to food court.
Seabiscuit Tram Tour: FREE. 2 tours daily at 8:30am and 9:45am on Saturday and Sunday during the Santa Anita Autumn season.