The Best Places To Watch The Kentucky Derby In California

Written By Rashid Mohamed on May 4, 2023
Kentucky Derby CA watch parties

We’re coming up to another horse-racing spectacle this weekend as equestrian enthusiasts prepare for the 149th Kentucky Derby.

Every year, on the first Saturday in May, up to 150,000 fans, dressed in their Spring finest, flock to the legendary race track, Churchill Downs. Furthermore, another 1.5 million will descend upon Derby City on that weekend.

However, it’s a long trek for California horse racing fans to travel 2,200 miles to Louisville. Therefore, we rounded up the best places in the Golden State to celebrate the Kentucky Derby.

Casinos in California are plentiful, there are 66 to be exact, and they’re all owned and operated by native tribes.

Most of these casinos show all the biggest sporting events. A few of them are even holding viewing parties for the most exciting two minutes in sports this year.

On May 6, fans can join parties dedicated to the Kentucky Derby at the following casinos:

Agua Caliente Casino

A giant wraparound screen in the sports bar of this magnificent casino is just beckoning guests to come and watch the horse racing’s most prestigious event. Additionally, there are various contests through the day, including a hat contest. The casino is giving away assorted prizes to the winners.

This gambling facility, run by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, in Rancho Mirage, has more than 45,000 square feet of gambling space.

Fantasy Spring Resort Casino

Fans are welcome at the Fantasy Spring Resort Casino to catch the races in the state-of-the-art track betting facility, the Triple Crown Room.

The site offers trackside seating at the nation’s premier courses with individual lighted stations and private televisions for high-limit bettors.

Watch Parties At California’s Racing Tracks

California has four horse racing tracks where fans are welcome to watch the races and bet on the horses:

Santa Anita Park

Home of the Santa Anita Derby and Santa Anita Handicap, this racetrack in Arcadia is a prime place to enjoy live racing and wager on the action.

Like every, Santa Anita Park is hosting a watch party for the most anticipated horse race of the year. The Southern California track is hosting the party from the comfort of the Chandelier Room.

Del Mar Racetrack

Del Mar Racetrack at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the seaside city of Del Mar in San Diego’s North County is considered one of the state’s more aesthetic racetracks.

The venue is the second-largest racetrack on the west coast. It holds up to 44,000 fans and is known as the place “Where the Turf meets the Surf.”

On May 6, the race track will hold its Official Monarch Del Mar Kentucky Derby Fest. The party will include a fashion contest, live music, photo opportunities, and various contests.

Golden Gate Fields

The racetrack, which straddles Albany and Berkeley in the Bay Area, encourages fans to enjoy Derby Day on Saturday. Guests can watch and wager on the 2023 Kentucky Derby and preliminary races at Churchill Downs.

In addition to televised racing action from Kentucky, Golden Gate plans to host its one live race program that day.

You and your guest will be given a turf table on the fourth floor of the grandstand, with your own TV at the table and a gorgeous view of the racing action at Golden Gate.

The facility also offers self-service betting machines and tellers in the turf club. Both are available to help anyone who wishes to wager on races anywhere in the country.

You can buy tickets for the watch party on the Golden Gate Fields website.

Los Alamitos Race Course

This race track is the perfect place to spend a fun-filled day of horse-racing and fine dining. The horse racing track in Cypress hosts both thoroughbred and quarter horse racing.

May is a busy month for the race course, with events happening back to back. The track isn’t hosting an official Kentucky Derby watch party. But fans will certainly be able to watch and wager on the races happening at Churchill Downs.

Photo by AP Photo / Charlie Riedel
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Rashid Mohamed

Rashid Mohamed is an international journalist with a special interest in sports writing. He is a Poli-Sci graduate of Ohio University and holds an A.A.S in Journalism. He has worked in a number of countries and has extensive experience in the United Nations as well as other regional, national, and international organizations. Rashid lives and writes out of Denver, Colorado.

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