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We recently had the pleasure of photographing the Santa Anita Racetrack, an LA institution on par with Dodger Stadium, Disneyland or the Griffith Park Observatory. The racetrack’s recent $15 million renovation was spearheaded by Morphosis alum Pavel Getov of Studio Antares A + E and seeks to revive this classic venue for a new generation.

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Since 1934, Santa Anita has been a favorite weekend outing for Angelenos. It’s where families rub elbows with the city’s elite while experiencing the electric energy of a day at the races. The racetrack holds a nostalgic spot in our memories, but with the recent fame of dual classic winner California Chrome, the sport is gaining popularity with new fans eager to learn more about the sport and see the races live.

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Getov’s spirit and energy while on location with us reflected his design, which engages spectators and brings them closer to the action. An impressive achievement — considering the project was completed in just three and a half months!

Arriving early in the day, we were able to see a different side of the track than most. Trainers, food service staff and other early birds scurried around, preparing for the races. Slowly, the sun came out and the crowds began filing in. The huge spaces and massive track were challenging to photograph, but seeing these spaces packed with spectators, jockeys and horses brought the racetrack to life!

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