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Golden Gate Fields Opens 101-Day Winter/Spring Meeting Thursday
Thoroughbred racing in Northern California resumes Thursday, Dec. 26, when Golden Gate Fields opens its 2013-2014 winter/spring meeting, a 101-day season that runs through June 15.
There is a special 12:15 p.m. post time for the nine-race opener.
Racing will be conducted on a Thursday-through-Sunday schedule and the standard post time is 12:45 p.m. There will be a special Wednesday racing program on Jan. 1 (New Year’s Day) and holiday Monday cards on Jan. 20 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), Feb. 17 (Presidents’ Day), and May 26 (Memorial Day).
A trio of Grade 3 stakes – the $200,000 El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 15, the $100,000 San Francisco Mile on April 26, and the $100,000 All American on May 26 –headline an 11-race stakes schedule.
The El Camino Real Derby, a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds, is an official Kentucky Derby prep. The winner of the race will earn 10 points in the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” championship series. The top 20 point earners in the series, which consists of 34 designated races, will secure a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby.
Fans attending Golden Gate Fields on Feb. 15 will receive a stylish El Camino Real Derby baseball cap.
The San Francisco Mile is Northern California’s most prestigious turf race. The event is for 3-year-olds and up and annually attracts a solid lineup. The SF Mile will be part of a $100,000-guaranteed All Grass Pick 4 that figures to entice handicappers across the nation. On track patrons will receive a free SF Mile T-shirt on April 26.
The All American is for 3-year-olds and up and will be run at one mile on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta racing surface. The All America is the main event on a Memorial Day program that will include Family Day festivities for kids.
The stakes schedule also includes the following races: $100,000 California Derby, a
1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-olds on Jan. 18; $50,000-added California Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies on Feb. 8; $50,000-added Lost in the Fog, a six-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up on Feb. 17; $50,000-added Camilla Urso, a six-furlong dash for fillies and mares on March 15; $50,000-added Golden Poppy, a 1 1/16-mile turf contest for fillies and mares on May 10; $100,000 Campanile, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies bred in California on May 31; $100,000 Silky Sullivan Stakes, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds bred in California on June 8; and the $50,000-added Albany, a five-furlong turf dash for 3-year-olds and up on June 14.
Every Sunday throughout the meeting will be Dollar Day, with Golden Gate Fields offering $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 hot dogs, $1 beers and $1 sodas. In May and June, the Sunday cards will also feature live concerts by top Bay Area bands.
Promotions are scheduled throughout the season, with the first being a 2014 wall calendar giveaway on Saturday, Dec. 28. The colorful calendars feature excellent photographs of racing action.
For a complete list of promotions, as well as all news and information pertaining to Golden Gate Fields, visit www.goldengatefields.com.
Changes In Wagering Menu – There are a few changes in the betting menu at Golden Gate Fields for the winter/spring meeting. The 50-cent Pick 5 (pick the winner of five consecutive races), which had been held on the last five races each day, will now be conducted on the first five races. The $1 Super High 5 (pick the first five finishers in exact order), which had be held on the fifth race each day, will now be offered on the last race each day.
Instead of “rolling” $2 Daily Doubles (pick the winners of two consecutive races) beginning on every race, Golden Gate Fields will offer three Daily Doubles each day with a reduced takeout of 18 percent (from 22.68 percent). The Daily Doubles will be held on the first and second races, the fourth and fifth races, and the last two races on the card.
The $1 Place Pick All (pick a horse to place in every race on the card) has been dropped from the wagering menu.