Horse racing returns to Alameda County Fairgrounds

Bay Area

Alameda County Fairgrounds on March 19, 2021 (Yoli Aceves/KRON)

Horse racing will return to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton on Friday with a new contactless payment system, fair officials said Wednesday. 

Races will start at 2:45 p.m. at the fairgrounds at 4501 Pleasanton Ave. Races will be run Friday through Sunday each week through July 18 with an additional race on Monday, July 5. 

Stakes races will be held June 26, July 3 and July 10 with $75,000 guaranteed each day. Trackside Terrace outdoor dining is $65 per person, Sky Lounge indoor dining is $75 per person, box seats are $18 per person and reserved grandstand seats are $15 per person. 

Tickets must be purchased online and include the cost of parking. More information can be found at 

Horse racing in Alameda County, or more specifically at Golden Gate Fields, has received scrutiny recently. Horse advocates have raised the public’s awareness about horses dying at Golden Gate Fields and other tracks in California and nationwide. 

“There’s no reason to believe the Alameda County Fairgrounds is any more humane than Golden Gate Fields,” said Samantha Faye, a spokesperson for Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights group. “Horse racing is an inherently cruel industry,” she said. 

Faye said the horses are “simply the profit-drivers” in the horse racing industry. 

Fans devoted to the sport though can attend daily seminars to learn about the day’s schedule of racing and get tips and picks for betting. In addition to the new contactless payment system, the fairgrounds is launching a rewards program, which is meant to help small businesses and lift the community economically. 

Fans can earn rewards with each admission, food and beverage purchase, as well as purchases at participating restaurants and retailers. Rewards can be used to buy tickets to live horse racing, this fall’s Alameda County Fair and food and beverages at horse racing events, to the fair as well as participating Alameda County restaurants and retailers.

Fans can access the rewards program through the Trio app, which can be found at 

From the Stella Artois Grandstand, fans can use their rewards via their smartphone, tablet or computer. Fans can order food and beverages before leaving their seats and pay and keep track of their rewards. 

This fall’s Alameda County Fair will be held Oct. 22 to 31.

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