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Wikipedia - Golden Gate Fields

Golden Gate Fields is an American horse racing track straddling both Albany, California and Berkeley, California along the shoreline of the San Francisco Bay adjacent to the Eastshore Freeway in the San Francisco Bay Area. With the closing of the Bay Meadows racetrack on May 11, 2008, it became the only major Thoroughbred racetrack in Northern California. It is currently owned by The Stronach Group.

The track is set on 140 acres (0.57 km2) of land in the cities of Albany and Berkeley. Golden Gate Fields' facilities currently include a one-mile (1,609 m) synthetic track and a turf course measuring 9/10 of a mile, or 7 furlongs plus 132 feet (1,448 m), stalls for 1,420 horses, a main grandstand with seating for about 8,000 customers, a clubhouse with seating for about 5,200 customers, a Turf Club with seating for about 1,500 customers and parking for over 8,500 cars. The synthetic track is called Tapeta and was installed in the summer of 2007. [1]

On July 16, 2023, The Stronach Group announced that Golden Gate Fields would close at the end of the 2023 race meet. The last day of racing is scheduled to be in December 2023, although there are discussions to possibly delay the closing of the track until June 2024.


Golden Gate Fields 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. On the north, it is bordered by the Albany Bulb, Albany Beach and Albany Plateau, undeveloped terrain over a former landfill, owned by the City of Albany. To the east is Interstate 80 and to the south, the Berkeley Meadow. This tract lies on what was once a part of the slough into which three creeks drain: Schoolhouse Creek, Codornices Creek and Marin Creek. The tract had originally been that portion of the Rancho San Antonio owned by José Domingo Peralta. He sold it in July 1852 to John Fleming, who used it as a transhipment point for sending his cattle across the bay to San Francisco for slaughter and processing. Later in the 19th century, it was the site of the Giant Powder Company, a manufacturer of dynamite and nitroglycerin. Between 1879 and 1892, the plant blew up twice.

Competitive horse racing in this part of the East Bay originated with the Oakland Trotting Track about 2 miles south of the site of Golden Gate Fields, in what is now Emeryville. The Oakland Trotting Track was open from 1871 until it was forced to close in 1911 when the state banned horse racing. A fire in 1915 destroyed what remained of its structures. In 1933, the state repealed the ban on horse racing.

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. In the period just before the war, the track was used as the scene of the crime central to the plot of the movie Shadow of the Thin Man.

With the onset of World War II, the United States Navy took over the property as the Naval Landing Force Equipment Depot, Albany for storing hundreds of landing craft destined for use in the Pacific theater. After the war, Golden Gate Fields resumed horse racing.

Golden Gate Fields was owned and managed for 25 years by San Francisco foreign car importer and horseman Kjell Qvale. In 1989, Golden Gate Fields was acquired by UK-based Ladbroke Racing. It was later acquired in 1999 by Magna Entertainment Corp., as Ladbroke wanted to divest of its non-European holdings. In March 2009, Magna filed for bankruptcy. The Stronach Group, the current owners, acquired Golden Gate Fields on July 3, 2011.

Golden Gate Fields made history in 2016 when it hired 29-year-old Angela Hermann as its track announcer, succeeding Michael Wrona. Hermann was the first full-time female race caller in the United States since Ann Elliott worked in the 1960s at Jefferson Downs near New Orleans.

Currently 28-year-old Matt Dinerman is the race announcer and track handicapper at Golden Gate Fields.[]