When you need a break from the dark parlors of esoteric gaming, there’s always the great outdoors pastime of thoroughbred horse racing. While not directly accessible by ferry, it’s no great stretch to reach Golden Gate Fields once you disembark in the East Bay.
For nearly a century GGF has been entertaining the San Francisco Bay Area with live music, varied luncheon options, and “The Sport of Kings.”
The venue has also been the stage for several film noir classics, and has the curious distinction of having a punk rock song named in its honor by “Rancid.”
This is not Churchhill downs this is not Hollywood Park
When the field is wide open
I’ll pick the horse that’s got the biggest heart
Let em run let em ride let em roll down the track
Let em win place and show….
Track management advises those who plan on wagering to bring cash. Both live tellers and voucher machines require this archaic form of currency. And while ATMs abound, why waste your time dealing with these contrivances?
Meanwhile, make plans to explore the entire locale, which offers stunning views of both the Bay and the East Oakland hills. Unlike stadium sports, horse racing is all about leisure. Walk around the paddock to watch the horses saddle up. Enjoy a cocktail at the Turf Club. Stroll down to the rail and wait for the bugler’s call summoning brave jockeys and steeds to the gates.
And if you are a good uncle, you can bring your sister’s children. You will soon become a family legend.