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Agua Caliente Race Track
The Agua Caliente Casino and Hotel opened in June 1928 in the Mexican city of Tijuana, Baja California. One year later, in December 1929, the $2.5 million Agua Caliente Racetrack opened. Like the resort, the racetrack was designed by Wayne McAllister and built by wealthy Americans Baron Long, a Los Angeles nightclub owner, Wirt Bowman, owner of the Tijuana gambling establishment, The Foreign Club, and James Crofton, a member of the local Tijuana horseracing establishment. Some sources note the fourth partner was Abelardo L. Rodriguez, Military Commander and Governor of Baja, and future Mexican President. The lavish resort and racetrack on the Mexican border was popular among Americans, particularly Hollywood celebrities, because drinking, gambling and horse racing were still illegal in most of the neighboring U.S. states.
Although Mexican President Lazaro Cadenas outlawed gambling in 1935 and closed the resort and casino, the Agua Caliente Racetrack continued to operate for many years. It was the site of several industry firsts, including starting gates, safety helmets, and pick six wagering. Both Phar Lap and Seabiscuit ran and won the Agua Caliente Handicap. The original grandstand structure was destroyed by fire in 1971, but was rebuilt and continues to operate today, though just a shadow of its opulent beginnings. It is currently owned by millionaire politician Jorge Hank and it no longer holds horse races but rather greyhound races. The sports book in Tijuana get packed by San Diegans going down there to gamble and place bets on there favorite football, baseball, basketball team. In Tijuana you can bet on just about anything.
- Location: Blvd. Agua Caliente and Tapachula No. 12027, Col. HipÃ³dromo
- Phone: 011-52(664)681-7300 or toll free in Mexico: 01800-027-3354