We love Bay Meadows! We held several horse law conferences here and the facilities couldn't be greater or the management more accommodating. Great facility with the longest history of uninterrupted horse racing in the state of California. If you're really a TB horseman, you may be able to get permission to see their private archives on TB horses, incl. Seabiscuit, who raced there. If you know nothing about racing, bet on the jockey "Russell Baze," rather than a horse. My friends took my advice and didn't make a ton of money, but they came away in the plus column.
Good place to see and be seen, but the food was not good. The duck was so undercooked (two of us ordered it) we almost asked the waiter to take it back to the kitchen and put it in the microwave, as we prefer rubber duckie to raw, bloody duckie. The osso bucco that another member of the party got was good, but that's about it. As much as we love dessert, it wasn't worth finishing. A definite disappointment.
Don't get upset by this guy's rather taciturn bedside manner-- he's a great vet, and we would recommend him any day. He pieced back together our pony's nearly severed collateral ligament via a miner's cap and light in the dark. The mare is 100% sound, and this is 10 years later, so he knows what he's doing. Don't trade him for a chatty vet of lesser skills-- just have him write care directions down on a piece of paper. He's so good that another vet we talked to said afterwards that it was good they were not available and we had Novick instead. How's that for a recommendation?!
Kristin is a very caring, compassionate vet. She takes time to communicate with owners about their animals' conditions, medications, etc., and is greagt about coming out at all hours if her services are needed.
Wayne Browning is an excellent vet-- he pulled our pony out of a very bad, repeated founder, and connected us with the horseshoer (Richard Fraser) who kept the pony sound and rideable for the rest of his life. He also helped turn around another pony with a very bad colic-- he gave her about a 30% chance of surviving the night 10 or so years ago, and we still have her. Don't know about his current associates, but would absolutely recommend Wayne.
Rooster's Landing is rough around the edges and has quite a reputation, but the drinks are good and some of the bartenderes are very nice, and friendly.
Despite its humble appearanace, this is a neat place to spend some time. The people are nice, the food at the little diner is good, and it's right on the Sacramento River for a nice view and easy boat launching.
The motel itself is fine, it is nice, clean, easy freeway access and close to mall / shopping, but the front office staff on more than one visit leaves something to be desired. For instance, I couldn't get through to my relatives staying there because the motel had no record of them being there, despite the fact that I dropped them off and they didn't have a car. Thankfully they eventually came outside and we met up, because I never got anywhere with the desk clerk!
Dr. Merkle is a great vet for sheep, he gives practical, affordable care and advice for sheep management. Yearly vaccinations for our flock are only about $8 - $9, and he gave us an EASY, cheap way to worm the sheep using horse wormer in tubes; Cottonwood Vet Clinic previously sold us about $200 worth of meds that are utterly impossible to administer. Thanks to Dr. Merkle, worming the sheep is now a breeze. Ask about a discount if you do all your small animal yearly vaccinations at once-- he gave some kind of a break last year.
Crossroads provided excellent care to a mare of ours who had a very weird occurrence with her milk bag. Despite the exam by their vet and the intial, after-hours emergency call by another office who referred us to one of the vets at Crossroads, it was never determined exactly what was wrong, but Crossroads did an excellent job of cleaning the area and (eventually) eliminating the symptoms without running the tab through the roof. Very good about answering questions and taking the time to talk to owners in plain English.