Horse racing returns to Pleasanton Today

Racehorse Booked Up owned by Rich NilsenHorse racing will return to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton on Friday with a new contactless payment system, fair officials said Wednesday.

Races will start at 2:45 p.m. at the fairgrounds at 4501 Pleasanton Ave. Races will be run Friday through Sunday each week through July 18 with an additional race on Monday, July 5.

Stakes races will be held June 26, July 3 and July 10 with $75,000 guaranteed each day. Trackside Terrace outdoor dining is $65 per person, Sky Lounge indoor dining is $75 per person, box seats are $18 per person and reserved grandstand seats are $15 per person.

Tickets must be purchased online and include the cost of parking. More information can be found at

Horse racing in Alameda County, or more specifically at Golden Gate Fields, has received scrutiny recently. Horse advocates have raised the public’s awareness about horses dying at Golden Gate Fields and other tracks in California and nationwide.

“There’s no reason to believe the Alameda County Fairgrounds is any more humane than Golden Gate Fields,” said Samantha Faye, a spokesperson for Direct Action Everywhere, an animal rights group. “Horse racing is an inherently cruel industry,” she said.

Faye said the horses are “simply the profit-drivers” in the horse racing industry.

Fans devoted to the sport though can attend daily seminars to learn about the day’s schedule of racing and get tips and picks for betting. In addition to the new contactless payment system, the fairgrounds is launching a rewards program, which is meant to help small businesses and lift the…

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About Editor

Rich Nilsen is a 19-time qualifier to the National Horseplayers Championship (NHC), an event he has cashed in four times. He was the first player to finish in the top 10 of the NHC twice. A former executive with and a member of the NHC Players’ Committee, Rich is a graduate of the University of Louisville Equine Business Program and is founder of, a site devoted to horse racing education and promotion.

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