By Lucky Kalanges
In addition to the Tasting Festivals (see my previous blog) being relocated to the Stella Artois Grandstand this year, we’ve got two massive developments to report here in our humble Fair blog.
First, the general public – that means you and me – can now take in a day at the races in the swanky, air-conditioned comfort of our new Sky Lounge. For $50, which includes Fair Admission if purchased by June 13, you’ll get a seat at the table in our former Director’s Room, a buffet-style lunch, access to live tellers and self-service betting machines, multiple flat screen TVs for simulcast wagering, and a spectacular view of Pleasanton Racetrack – all in air-conditioned comfort, a huge perk on hot summer days in the Tri-Valley.
Second, after racing on Friday, June 28, we’ll be ushering in Independence Day week with a Fireworks Spectacular, for which you can purchase reserved seats in the second and third level of the Grandstand. The reserved seating price for the fireworks show is $25, but like the Sky Lounge, it includes Fair Admission if purchased by Thursday, June 27.
For information on the Sky Lounge, Trackside Terrace, Fireworks Spectacular and other racing packages, click here.
If the Sky Lounge and Fireworks aren’t #1 and 1A on your on Fair bucket list, the Stella Artois Grandstand is still a cool place – literally and figuratively – for the entire family to spend some time away from the hot summer sun. First and foremost, we’ve got shade and plenty of it. So if you’re looking for a place to cool off and relax, take a seat in our spacious grandstand and watch a race or two unfold over America’s first one-mile dirt racetrack. You can also wager on your favorite horse or rider to win the race should the mood strike you.
If you’re looking for some inside information on the day’s races, check out the Handicapping Seminar hosted by Dennis Miller and track announcer, Chris Griffin, in front of the grandstand every race day at 12 noon. You never know who might show up as a special guest!
If you’re visiting us on opening day – Friday, June 14 – be sure to stop by the Win, Place and Show booth to pick up a FREE KKIQ AND KKDV Pleasanton Racing T-Shirt while supplies last. If you don’t arrive in time to pick one up Friday, a limited number of T-Shirts will also be given away Saturday, June 15, on a first-come, first-served basis.
If you arrive before the 6th race, be sure to drop a FREE entry into our Win, Place and Show Contest, in which you could win a $100, $75 or $50 betting voucher.
Win, Place and Show is easy and fun; just pick the horse you think will win the 6th race and drop your name into you the box with your horse’s number on it. If your horse finishes first, second or third, you will have chance to win $100, $75 or $50, respectively. If your name is drawn from the box, you’ll get to “come on down” to the winner’s circle to collect your prize.
Win, Place and Show is held every racing day, except Saturday, June 29, when Derby Dog Dash takes over the racetrack and grandstand. Speaking of which, if you have a small-breed dog that weighs less than 28 pounds and measures less than 15 inches to the shoulder, your pooch can compete ON THE RACETRACK for up to $120 in cash in the Derby Dog Dash.
Bring your furry bundle and a friend or family member to help man the starting or finish line. Then watch your pride and joy go eyeball to eyeball with some of the fastest furballs in the Tri-Valley. If your dog wins one of eight heats, you’ll bank $20 and your pooch will be invited back to the finals, where you’ll compete for a top prize of $100 later that afternoon. The Derby Dog Dash is Saturday, June 29, is FREE to enter and includes Fair Admission for yourself and a guest.
The 50-yard races take less than a minute, but the memories will last a lifetime. Registration is OPEN NOW. Check out Derbydogdash.com for details.
If you don’t have a dog, but have a seven to 10-year-old kid in tow, he or she can get on the racetrack and compete in front of the entire grandstand in our Hippity Hop Contest. Up to 10 kids get to bounce across the track for a Carnival Wristband and up to four Fair Tickets. The Hippity Hop race takes place every Friday, Saturday and Sunday between the 3rd and 4th races, just after 2:45 p.m. Whether big or small, your child will get to pick the Hippity Hop ball that fits his or her size. The top three finishers win a prize and a ribbon, but please, no wagering on the Hippity Hop Derby.
There will be a Hippity Hop race on Thursday, July 4, but no contest on Saturday, June 29, the day of the Derby Dog Dash. Check out the Official Rules and Prizes here.
As America’s only one-mile dirt track with an operating golf course in the infield, it’s only fitting that Pleasanton Racing holds a Putting Contest. It’s FREE to enter on every live race day, and three contestants are chosen at random to putt before the entire Grandstand in the infield, just in front of the tote board (no pressure). The three players with the closest measurement to the pin over the first 13 race days will advance to the FINAL on Saturday, July 6. Enter each day at the Win, Place and Show booth.
Prizes will be awarded to all finalists, and if any player in the Final round sinks a hole-in-one, he or she will win a $10,000 bonus!
Want to check out the score of the A’s or Giants game? Stop by the 95.7 The Game Fan Cave located on the second floor Grandstand, near Trackside Terrace. The Fan Cave comes loaded with high tops and flat screens, where you can chillax with a cold one while watching the U.S. Open golf tournament, Giants or A’s baseball in fabulous HD.
Back by popular demand this year is what I like to call Beer Roulette (a/k/a Even/Odd $2 Beers), which has been expanded to cover the 5th race on every live race day. Each day we will announce in the track program and over the PA system whether an Even or Odd-numbered horse winning the 5th race will trigger an “all-suds” discount. If it’s an “Even” day, and horse number 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 wins the 5th race, all draft beer in the Grandstand will be sold for just $2 a pop.
Thanks to Beer Roulette, I have a feeling the 5th is going to be our most popular race of the day.
As for the richest races, we will have a pair of stakes during the last week of the Fair. Thursday, July 4 features the running of the $50,000 Oak Tree Sprint for three-year-olds and upward, going six furlongs. The $100,000 Everett Nevin Stakes, for two-year-olds sprinting five and a half furlongs, is the featured event for Saturday, July 6.
Whether you’re looking to bet on a horse, race your dog or kid, sink a putt, down a cheap beer, or just find some precious shade, the Stella Artois Grandstand has something for everyone this summer at the Alameda County Fair.
Check out the full Grandstand Schedule here.