uscband“In the great horse racing tradition of the Kentucky Derby’s ‘My Old Kentucky Home,’ and the Preakness’ ‘Oh, Maryland,’ we wanted to have a song that spoke to our story,” said Mark Verge, CEO of Santa Anita Park.

The Park tapped award-winning songwriter Jimmy Dunne, with hit songs on 28 million records and rooms full of gold and platinum records spanning the globe.

“For many generations, so many Californians have shared a unique and passionate story of having an extraordinary dream in life, and coming to California to risk it all to make that dream a reality,” said Dunne. “I tried to capture that in the song.”

“My California” debuted in front of an expected 25,000 Californians – and was performed twice. First, by hit-singer Ferras (on EMI Records), followed by the 100-member “USC Marching Band.” Fans “followed the bouncing ball” and sang-along with the USC Marching Band.

The USC Marching Band was directed by Dr. Arthur Bartner; and the USC Marching Band’s arrangement was created by USC’s Tony Fox.

My California

The Official Song of Santa Anita Park

How I longed for California
And the gold I dreamed I’d find
I risked it all to know my truths
And taste her sweetest wines

When I breathe in California
And I bathe in her warm sea
I close my eyes and visualize
The thrill of may be

She sings from top Mount Whitney
Her heart – the redwood trees
Her soul, my friend, just look around
Her soul is you and me

How I love my California
She’s a land where dreamer’s dream
I will to make a better place
For those that dream like me

I will to make a better place
For those that dream like me

Music & Lyrics by Jimmy Dunne