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The Agua Caliente Racetrack (current name “Caliente Hipódromo“) is a greyhound racing and former horse racing track in Tijuana, Baja California, Mexico. It opened in December 1929 at a cost of $2.5 million.
One year before, the Agua Caliente Casino and Hotel opened in June 1928.
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A construction worker died Monday morning at the recently opened Agua Caliente Cathedral City casino. Jay Ayers, 41, of Temecula, was fatally injured at 5:20 a.m. Palm Canyon Drive. Agua Caliente Casinos in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, and Cathedral City are open! Guests are required to wear a face-covering and face-coverings are available upon request upon entry. Casino capacity: We are operating at 50 percent capacity to ensure social distancing measures.
Now the largest branch of the Caliente casino chain, the renovated building houses a casino with race betting, hundreds of slot machines, a restaurant and a Starbucks café. The complex includes the Estadio Caliente sports and concert stadium.
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 Croffroth, a member of the local Tijuana horseracing establishment. Some sources note the fourth partner was Abelardo L. Rodríguez, Military Commander and Governor of Baja California, and future President of Mexico. 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. The first manager of the track was Tommy Gorman, who had previously been involved in ice hockey.
Although PresidentLázaro Cárdenas 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, which for a time was the richest in North America.
In 1939 Anna Lee Aldred received her professional license from the Agua Caliente Racetrack, becoming the first U.S. woman to receive a jockey's license.
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Such riders as Aureliano Noguez, Humberto Enriquez, Francisco Mena, Antonio Castanon and David Flores graced the jockeys' quarters throughout the days of horse racing.
The race track is the originator of the Pick 6 (on the North American continent). Then known as the 5-10 and later on the 4-9'er. Some racetrackers called it the Big Six.
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 who renamed it 'Hipódromo de Agua Caliente'. It has not hosted horse racing since 1992, but presents greyhound races. The building was renovated in the 2010s and the Estadio Caliente stadium was built in the grounds.
- ^Wesch, Hank. 'Agua Caliente celebrates 75 years with little fanfare | The San Diego Union-Tribune'. Signonsandiego.com. Archived from the original on 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
- ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on 2006-09-01. Retrieved 2006-10-26.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ^The Gazette 1929, p. 13.
- ^'Archived copy'. Archived from the original on 2008-06-27. Retrieved 2008-06-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- ^Post, Claire Martin The Denver. 'ANNA LEE ALDRED, 85, JOCKEY PIONEER'. Sun-Sentinel.com.
- ^Press, The Associated (July 5, 2006). 'Anna Lee Aldred, 85, Hall of Fame Cowgirl, Dies (Published 2006)' – via NYTimes.com.
- ^Simon, Mark (2007). The Original Thoroughbred Times Racing Almanac. pg. 37. i-5 Publishing. ISBN978-1-933958-38-5.
- ^Pierson, Cindy. 'Top Horse Racing Books for Beginners'. Horseracing.about.com. Retrieved 2016-09-09.
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- Vanderwood, Paul J. Satan's Playground: Mobsters and Movie Stars at America’s Greatest Gaming Resort (Duke University Press, 2010)
- Beltran, David Jimenez. The Agua Caliente Story: Remembering Mexico's Legendary Racetrack (2004) Eclipse PressISBN1-58150-115-3
- Chris Nichols. The Leisure Architecture of Wayne McAlli  (Layton, Utah: Gibbs Smith) 2007
- The Gazette (July 9, 1929), 'Eddie Gerard has Resigned Post of Maroon Manager', The Gazette, Montreal
- Location on the map of Tijuana
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Coordinates: 32°30′24.25″N116°59′43.77″W / 32.5067361°N 116.9954917°W
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