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Alameda County Fair 

When: Tuesdays-Thursdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. and Fridays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Continues through July 19 2009
Price: $4-$30 (season pass)

Everything's better at the fair. That includes bettors, who can enjoy horse racing at the Alameda County Fair (4501 Pleasanton Ave,, Pleasanton) for the next two weeks. The Pleasanton event hosts the regular (and slightly irregular) thoroughbreds every day but Monday and Tuesday through July 19. The crowds tend to be more spirited and silly than those who go hard-core at Golden Gate Fields: wandering families with corn dogs and stuffed bears standing in line next to touts with marked-up racing forms. The fairs often throw in exotic races as well: quarter horses, Arabians, Appaloosas, and the occasional mule sprint. Can't pick a winner? Try asking the guy with a glow-stick headband and fried Twinkie. It's a long shot, sure, but that's what the fair's all about anyway. 12:45 p.m., $6-$10. AlamedaCountyFair.com


— Kibby Kleiman

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