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May 14, 2012 07:00 PM

Santa Anita racetrack dining?

Hi! My elderly parents want to visit Santa Anita racetrack for the first time, this coming Christmastime (probably the 27th or 28th of December). Can anyone explain the differences between the Turf Club and the Club House Terrace dining experiences? I'm hoping to reserve a nice table where we can watch the races and eat a decent lunch. Not as worried about price as I am a comfortable chair and a good view of the races for them, and a Scotch and water for me. :)

Just can't quite get a sense from the official website. Thanks in advance for any advice!

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  1. If you want to dine and watch the races, reserve a window spot at FrontRunner.

    Turf Club is far more formal -- dress code enforced -- but I think the atmo at FrontRunner is less stuffy and more comfortable.

    Food at either venue is just terrible.

    4 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Agree with ipsedixit. The Turf Club requires a jacket and no jeans. A bit of a stuffier environment. The Front Runner has a huge bar in the middle of the floor and tiered seating system with good views of the finish line and backstretch. The food is not great and on the more expensive side. If you have the time the right way to do it is go to DTF for food before the track opens. Get some reserved seats somewhere for your parents or get a table inside or outside the clubhouse. you can reserve a table in either section without any minimums and the table is essentially yours for the whole day.

      1. re: ipsedixit

        Right next to the Turf Club is the Club House Terrace where the dress code is more casual and, if the weather is nice, makes for a great place to sit and dine and watch your horse finish dead last.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          The race track has a new CEO Mark Verge, who is also a partner at downtown bars like Seven Grand, and I'm hoping that means he will be able to make some changes to food and drink!

        2. Can anyone tell me anything regarding the Sunday Champagne Brunch? Is the food good and plentiful? My reservation time was set for 1 P.M. which means that I was shorted nn hour. The Champagne stops being served at 2:30 P.M. Or am I mistaken? Any helpis appreciated.

          1. Or if you wanna eat before or after, you might check The Derby (more or less across the street). It's good in an old school way.
            You can run into some interesting folks in the Turf Club and adjacent windows. I saw Vince (Ben Casey) Edwards there frequently back in the day. And Rod Stewart looking quite dapper.