Sonoma Fair Horse Racing
The Sonoma County Fair is an annual event held at the County Fairgrounds in Santa Rosa, California. This yearly summer time extravaganza features horse racing, concerts, the largest themed flower show in America, and a good deal of family fun.
The Sonoma County Fairgrounds, however, is much more than a home to the annual Fair. This 200-acre, multi-use complex offers one of the county's most extensive and versatile convention/exhibition spaces. Within the complex are several exhibition halls, equestrian arenas, and a 5-acre lawn.
The Jockey Club in the Fairgrounds is the only establishment in Sonoma County that offers year-round wagering on horse racing. It has a one-mile horse racing track that features thoroughbred, quarter horse and appaloosa racing. It was established in 1993.
Several high-profile Stakes events are held within the two-week duration of the Sonoma County Fair. These include:
- Earnest Finley Handicap
- Luther Burbank Handicap
- James F. Lyttle Memorial Handicap
- Joseph T. Grace Handicap
- Cavonnier Juvenile Stakes
- Elie Destruel Handicap
- Head Pin Handicap
- Sabre Chant Handicap
- Santa Rosa Marathon
- Apache Double Handicap
- Santa Rosa Arabian Handicap
- California Appaloosa Derby
- Wine Country Derby
- Santa Rosa Mule Championship
With a purse of $100,000, the Joseph T. Grace Handicap is the top stakes race at the Fair. It is a distance race for thoroughbreds four years of age and up and promises to attract the finest collection of horses assembled in Santa Rosa.
A new turf track has been completed and adds to the many attractions of the Fairgrounds. The turf track is seven furlongs, or 7/8 of a mile long. It is 60' wide, and built upon a base of sand.
With racing commencing in 2005, the new turf track is expected to bring better horses and a new prestige to a racing meet that already enjoys a great reputation in the racing community.