Bay Meadows was established in 1934 by William P. Kyne. It may have been the most important development to build the future of San Mateo. Horse race tracks were becoming very popular in the United States. Many people were drawn to them for the excitement. This was due not only to the actual races, but the fact that many famous people were coming to watch the horse races.
Bay Meadows is located in San Mateo, California. Its focus is thoroughbred racing. The size of facility is 90 acres in total. It has two tracks and two racing seasons. One is in the spring and the other in the fall. The spring run is generally 55 days and the fall is 50 days.
This horse track is known as being the most traditional horse race track in America. It is also the record holder for being the longest continually operating racetrack in California.
Specifics about Bay Meadows are that it has a one-mile oval track. It has one ¼ mile and ¾ mile chutes. It also has a 7/8 mile turf course. A company called MEC bought and took over the operations of Bay Meadows. They began leasing the facility in November of 2000.
Bay Meadows is known for having the longest running stakes even in California. This is called the Bay Meadows Handicap. In 1934, this race was inaugurated. It was won by the famous Seabiscuit in 1937 and 1938.
The Bay Meadows Derby was first held in 1954. This was a race specifically for three-year-old horses. The first winner of this race was Determine. Determine later went on to win the Kentucky Derby three weeks later.
During World War II, it remained open. Unlike many other race tracks at the time. During its time remaining open, it earned more than $4 million dollars for War Relief Projects.
There have been many famous and legendary jockeys to have raced at this legendary horse track. These include Bill Shoemaker, John Longden, Ralph Neves and Russell Baze. Although there are many racetracks in the nation, Bay Meadows is definitely one of the most significant and one of the racetracks that horse race fans put on their list of tracks to visit during their lifetime.