Golden Gate Fields

Address PO Box 6027
Albany, Ca 94706
Phone (510) 559-7300
Official Website
  Stadium Resources  
Weather Newspaper
  The Facility  
Date Built February 1, 1941
Ownership Magna Entertainment Corp.
Capacity Unknown
On Site Parking Unknown
  Other Facts  

Sources:Team Marketing Report and Mediaventures

Track History and Fun Facts: Golden Gate Fields commenced its inaugural meet on February 1, 1941. . . on a clear day, from the back of the Golden Gate grandstand, one has a fine view of San Francisco Bay. . . during the latter part of the 19th century, the property was the site of the Giant Power Company, which manufactured dynamite and nitroglycerine, and blew up four times between 1879 and 1892. . . the Golden Gate track record for 1 1/4 miles is 1:58 1/5, set by Noor when he beat Citation in the Golden Gate Handicap on June 24, 1950; Noor's standard was actually a world record for the distance, and it stood as such for nearly 20 years. . . the Golden Gate 'Cap later became a turf fixture; at age nine, John Henry was a two-length winner of the 1984 renewal. . . going into 1999, Russell Baze had won the riding titles at 11 consecutive Golden Gate meets, and 19 out of the last 22 meets all told. . . entering '99, Jerry Hollendorfer had been the leading Golden Gate trainer at 17 consecutive meets.

Source: Golden Gate Fields

December 24, 2008
Copyright 2008 MediaVentures

San Francisco, Calif. - Golden Gate Fields - the last major racetrack in Northern California - could be putting up a for-sale sign as its financially struggling parent company is forced to pay off big loans by the end of next year.

The unknown status of the racetrack has stoked a decades-long local debate over the fate of the prime piece of real estate along the Albany waterfront.

Magna Entertainment informed investors and the Securities and Exchange Commission earlier this month that it has agreed to a plan that would pay off debts totaling tens of millions of dollars, including using "commercially reasonable efforts to sell or enter into joint ventures in respect of its assets, including its core racetrack assets."

Golden Gate Fields is one of the company's 10 thoroughbred or standardbred racetracks - including Santa Anita Park, Florida's Gulfstream Park and Maryland's Pimlico Race Course. It's unclear whether the Albany track would be among those put on the block, and if so, be sold as a racetrack business or simply as real estate.

Magna officials did not return calls seeking comment. The company filed paperwork required for unscheduled corporate changes with the SEC on Dec. 4.

For about 60 years, horses have circled the track at Golden Gate Fields as those in the grandstands placed bets on their favorite ponies.

Some locals say it's a historic icon and a financial benefit for local coffers, the last holdover from the heyday of Bay Area horse racing.

Others say the track is a waste of space - an eyesore on a breathtakingly beautiful shoreline. In 2002, Magna proposed developing part of the land for retail, entertainment and lodging, but by 2006 abandoned the idea after facing community opposition to a mall on the site.

Robert Hartman, the track's general manager, said 2009 will be the most profitable year ever due in large part to the August closure of the Bay Meadows track in San Mateo and the boost from 127 racing days to 181 this season. (San Francisco Chronicle)



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