Santa Anita Park will reopen to the public at a limited capacity beginning April 2, in keeping with California’s guidelines for large sporting event venues. The opening, which comes as Los Angeles County moves into the red tier for COVID-19, is the day before the 84th running of the prestigious Runhappy Santa Anita Derby (G1), traditionally one of the highlights on the Southern California sports calendar.
Fans must purchase tickets (which include an assigned seat) in advance of arrival at Santa Anita. In accordance with state requirements for re-opening, walk-up or general admission tickets cannot be sold, though that could change as the COVID-19 numbers improve in Los Angeles County.
To receive information on ticket sales as soon as they become available, fans are encouraged to monitor Santa Anita’s newsletter.
“We are extremely excited to welcome back our racing fans to Santa Anita, just in time for the Santa Anita Derby,” said Nate Newby, Santa Anita senior vice president and general manager. “It hasn’t been the same without the people who are so important to this sport. While the current restrictions are going to limit the size of the crowds, we are working hard to provide a memorable experience for our guests and to thank them for their support.”
Tickets will include a seat, program, and parking. All fans must follow stringent guidelines and protocols, including mandatory wearing of cloth face coverings and maintaining social distancing at all times. Box seats, tables, and individual seats will be spaced out and sold to maximize social distancing.
The $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (G1), an important steppingstone to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Woodford Reserve (G1) at Churchill Downs, is traditionally one of the track’s biggest days. Last year, with the facility closed to all but the most essential personnel, Authentic finished second to Honor A.P. and become the 19th Kentucky Derby winner to have prepped in the Santa Anita Derby. Two months after his win in a COVID-19 postponed Kentucky Derby, Authentic closed out 2021 with a win in the Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic (G1) at Keeneland en route to earning Horse of the Year honors.
First post time on April 2 will be 1:00 p.m. PT before moving up an hour on Santa Anita Derby Day to noon.