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Horse racing has returned to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton this summer with a new contactless payment system, fair officials said.
Races start at 2:45 p.m. Monday through Friday at the fairgrounds at 4501 Pleasanton Ave., and will continue 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 and reserved grandstand seats are $15.
Tickets must be purchased online and include the cost of parking.
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 community economically.
Fans can earn rewards with each admission, food and beverage purchase, as well as purchases at participating restaurants and retailers. Rewards can be used to buy tickets to live horse racing, this fall’s Alameda County Fair and food and beverages at horse racing events, to the fair as well as participating Alameda County restaurants and retailers.
Fans can access the rewards program through the Trio app, which can be found online.
From the Stella Artois Grandstand, fans can use their rewards via their smartphone, tablet or computer. Fans can order food and beverages before leaving their seats and pay and keep track of their rewards.
This fall’s Alameda County Fair will be held Oct. 22 to 31.