Southern California

Fast Ponies: Santa Anita Opening Day

The Winter Brewfest, new club action, and the horses on the track are ready for fans.

The day after Christmas is a big one, celebration-wise, in numerous places around the planet.

Boxing Day springs to mind as the most major of the major follow-up holidays, and while some SoCalers mark the benevolent minded giveback day -- a day that also see sales, sports to-dos, and more -- many a person who calls Southern California does think of Dec. 26 as a pretty mane event.

Yep, we said "mane" and we would dare consider changing it: Santa Anita Park opens the day after Christmas, as is tradition, which means that the Friday following the yuletide will be about horses, horses, more horses, and all of the out-sized accouterments the historic racetrack lays out each year.

Like? Winter Brewfest foams up to the brim of the track -- er, glass -- on Dec. 26. Sip a pair of specialty beers "on the trackside apron" and toast the holidays, horses, and a happy New Year to come, all at once.

There's a Family Fun Zone on Dec. 26, too, so look for carnival games, face painting, hot dogs and chips, and two pony rides when you purchase a Family Four Pack.

As for the track hangouts? The Gallop Out, Santa Anita's "newest Club House destination," and a guest chef series at the swanky Chandelier Room, will be two of the day's culinary/beverage-oriented destinations.

Look for the Malibu Stakes, Mathis Brothers Mile, and La Brea Stakes down on the oval.

Also? The weather is looking fine, so not too much mud'll be a-flyin', if any.

Also? There's a calendar giveaway, of course. Didn't get a fresh calendar under the tree? Fret not, equine aficionado.

So what to call Dec. 26 up Arcadia way, where it is all about the ponies, the jumping-up-and-down, and the trackside scene? Well, Boxing Day is traditional, yes, but perhaps Horsing Day works well in and around Santa Anita Park.

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