Track History and Facts: Santa Anita Racetrack opened to the public Christmas Day, 1934. The building of one of the most impressive race tracks started construction in 1933 with Lucky Baldwin’s daughter, Hollywood tycoons and sports figures helped create the Los Angeles Turf Club, which developed Santa Anita Racetrack in Arcadia in 1933 to 1934. On February 4, 1938, a $2,000 claimer named Playmay won the first race on the card and returned $673.40 for a two-dollar win. The turf course was built in 1953, has a hillside leg that crosses the main track to connect with the infield oval. During World War II, it served as an assembly center for Japanese Americans being relocated to internment camps.
In 1978 Affirmed won the Triple Crown with three consecutive Santa Anita victories, including an eight-length score in the Santa Anita Derby. In 1984, it served as the site of the Olympics equestrian competitions. The racetrack property covers 320 acres, including stable accommodations for 1,800 thoroughbreds, and features a one-mile main track, a seven-furlong turf course and a six-furlong training track. Santa Anita Park is located at 285 W. Huntington Drive in Arcadia, fourteen miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles, is one of the West Coast's top horse racing attractions. Santa Anita Park sits at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. San Gabriel Mountains provide a stunning backdrop for Santa Anita's races.