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Golden Gate Fields Opens 2010-2011 Racing Season Sunday, Dec. 26
After a six-day break for the holidays, live thoroughbred racing will resume at Golden Gate Fields on Sunday, Dec. 26, when the track kicks off its 2010-2011 winter/spring meeting. The 104-day season will run through June 12.
Sunday, Dec. 26, is also opening day at Santa Anita and first post at the Arcadia racetrack is noon. Post time at Golden Gate Fields is 12:15 p.m. and fans attending the races will receive a free 2011 Golden Gate Fields wall calendar that features outstanding racing photographs as well as vintage photos and historical notes about the track, which is celebrating its 70th anniversary.
The winter/spring stakes schedule is highlighted by the following events: the $100,000 California Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies that will be run Jan. 1; the $100,000 California Derby, 1 1/16-miles, 3-year-olds, Jan. 15; the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby, 1 1/8-miles, 3-year-olds, Feb. 12; the Grade 3 $150,000 San Francisco Mile, one mile on turf, 4-year-olds and up, April 30; and the Grade 3 $100,000 Berkeley Stakes, 1 1/16-miles, 4-year-olds and up, May 30.
The El Camino Real Derby, Northern California’s steppingstone race to the Triple Crown events, is part of the new “Preakness 5.5” bonus program that will reward any horse that wins the El Camino Real Derby, Santa Anita Derby and the Preakness Stakes with a $5.5 million payday ($5 million for the owners and $500,000 for the trainer).
The California Oaks is part of the “Black-Eyed Susan 2.2” bonus program that will reward any filly that can win the California Oaks, Santa Anita Oaks, Gulfstream Park Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes with a $2.2 million jackpot ($2 million for the owners, $200,000 for the trainer).
The “Preakness 5.5” and the “Black-Eyed Susan 2.2” bonus programs were created by Golden Gate Fields’ parent company, MI Developments, Inc., which also owns Santa Anita, Gulfstream Park, and Pimlico Race Course (home of the Preakness Stakes and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes).
Cathy’s Crunches, who has won three straight stakes at Golden Gate Fields, is scheduled to head the field in the California Oaks on New Year’s Day. Trained by Jerry Hollendorfer, Cathy’s Crunches is a Florida-bred filly who has five wins, a second and a third in seven career starts.
The wall calendar giveaway on Dec. 26 kicks off a busy promotion schedule that also features “Dollar Day” cards every Sunday (parking, general admission, programs, beers, hot dogs, and sodas all cost just a buck), a zip sweatshirt giveaway on Jan. 15 (California Derby Day), drawings for eight 42-inch plasma televisions on Feb. 6 (Super Bowl Sunday), a shirt giveaway on Feb. 12 (El Camino Real Derby Day), free concerts the final six Sundays of the season, a folding chair giveaway on May 30 (Memorial Day), and a wine festival on June 11 (Belmont Stakes Day).