The earliest record of an agricultural Fair in California was in 1854, although in those early days it was nomadic, but by 1861 it settled at the California State Fairground in Sacramento. However, it was to be a further 80 years before formal racing was introduced as the Sacramento Fair race meeting, although a horse racing track was laid out in 1906. The 8 furlong oval track, with 302 metre home straight, hosted its inaugural meeting on 2nd September 1935, offering a card of thoroughbred racing. To supplement its racing programme, occasionally the track staged motor racing, initially in 1907, again in 1912 and from 1946 until 1970, after which the old Fairgrounds were closed, the racing ceasing in 1968. The former Fairgrounds were sold for development, but a new dual purpose track, called Golden Bear Raceway, was established on the California Exposition fair grounds, holding its first thoroughbred meeting on 28th August 1968. To supplement an 8 furlong oval track two chutes, one of 6 furlongs and one of 10 furlongs, were added. Harness racing was introduced for the first time on 15th June 1971, and in due course the track was renamed Cal-Expo Raceway and today has a season which runs from early October to early May.

The principal races at the track are the Governor's Handicap, the McCabe Derby and the 'Straight from the Gate Futurity'.

I am grateful to our American Racing Correspondent Richard Gauthier for the images shown on this page.

If you have badges, racecards, pictures of the racecourse or further details about the course, including your memories, then email