California's Top Horse Races

California's Top Horse Races

California has been running the top races in the world because for the past two years in a row and five of the past seven years it’s hosted the Breeders Cup World Thoroughbred Championships. But even if we don’t consider those races California races, the state runs plenty of other important races. The most important of which is the Santa Anita Handicap, where Seabiscuit won the first race with a $100,000 purse. The TVG Pacific Classic has become an important prep for the Breeders’ Cup Classic and the Santa Anita Derby is one of the important key prep races for the Triple Crown.

Famous Thoroughbred Races in California

Below are what we feel are the top three races in California. As we mentioned above, the state runs at least one big race almost every weekend but the three below are the most well-known.

TVG Pacific Classic

The Pacific Classic, run at Del Mar over the Polytrack, has been a boon for underdog horseplayers. Del Mar will be going back to dirt soon, but horseplayers should still find prices in the P. Classic.

Santa Anita Handicap

One of the most famous races in the world, the Santa Anita Handicap, or the Big ‘Cap, has been won by horses such as Seabiscuit, Affirmed, Spectacular Bid, John Henry and Tiznow.  

Santa Anita Derby

The Santa Anita Derby has produced sixteen Roses winners including five since 1997: Silver Charm, Real Quiet, Charismatic, Giacamo, and I’ll Have Another. California Chrome, the 2014 Kentucky Derby favorite, prepped in the Santa Anita Derby.