Meeting: The California Fair circuit includes four different tracks: Pleasanton, Sacramento, Ferndale and Fresno. Racing at Pleasanton runs from mid-June to early July and is highlighted by the $100,000 Everett Nevin Stakes. Sacramento takes over in mid-July and conducts racing until the end of the month; its meet is led by the $50,000 Governor’s Handicap. Ferndale holds a six-day meet in the middle of August, with the C.J. Hindley Humboldt County Marathon Handicap taking top billing, and Fresno runs in early October with the $100,000 Harris Farms Stakes being its marquee race.
History: The California Fair circuit is a network of racetracks in the northern portion of the state that date as far back as 1858, when Pleasanton was constructed by the son of Spanish Don, Augustin Bernal, making it the oldest racetrack in America. Pleasanton is referred to as “the birthplace of racing in California.” Ferndale also has a lengthy history, as it has been the site of the Humboldt County Fair since 1896. Though it disappeared for awhile in the early 20th century, racing was legalized in 1935 and it became a mainstay of the fair. Traditionally, the final stop on the circuit is Fresno, which was established in 1882, though racing at Fresno didn’t come for another two years.
Facilities: The facilities vary by site, but one can expect the usual fair activities at each, as well as quality racing.