FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --Horse racing has always been part of the tradition at the Big Fresno Fair. The track is considered one of the busiest in the state. It is one of the biggest draws at the Big Fresno Fair.
While many people come for the wacky food creations or attractions others come every year solely for the thrill and excitement at the track.
Live horse racing at the Big Fresno Fair started back in the late 1800's and has been a tradition ever since.
Thursday afternoon horses were trotted out for the first time while race fans rushed to place their bets.
"The horse races are fun. The group of people are like family up there. Once a year we have this reunion of people who have had those seats for 20, 30, or 40 years," said Mary Ann Stinnett, Fresno.
Stinnett hasn't missed a race in 39 years and Her method of picking winners involves her niece.
"My secret formula was calling my 10-year-old niece up in Oregon and reading the horses names and she picked them for me."
If you don't have a 10-year-old niece with a knack for picking winners you could always ask Robbie Rodriguez. Rodriguez is the fair's official handicapper. He can answer any question you may have and you can find him near the entrance to the grandstands.
"It's for entertainment, for enjoyment, you don't want to invest too much money when you're learning how just starting out. I just explain the basics."
One guy to keep an eye on Thursday was Brandon Boulanger-- the veteran jockey finished second in his first race in Fresno.
"You come to a new track it's like jumping in the deep end, you're not sure if something is going to be there. I like the scenery, your guys' paddock is really nice and your infield is different you know-- it's definitely eye opening."
If you are curious about watching the races general admission is free with your paid entrance into the fair.