Golden Gate Fields Opens 2011-2012 Winter/Spring Meeting Monday

Golden Gate Fields Opens 2011-2012 Winter/Spring Meeting Monday

     Golden Gate Fields has something for horse racing fans to open the day after Christmas – a brand new racing season.

     Golden Gate Fields will kick off its 2011-2012 winter/spring meeting with a nine-race card Monday.  Post time is 12:15 p.m.  Monday is also opening day at Golden Gate Fields’ sister track in Southern California, Santa Anita, and first post at the Arcadia oval is noon.

     Golden Gate Fields’ winter/spring season runs through June 17 and will feature 101 days of racing.  The track heads into the long meeting with momentum after having realized double-digit increases in both daily on-track handle (13.86 percent) and daily on-track attendance (12.77 percent) at its 2011 fall meeting, which concluded Dec. 18.

     Golden Gate Fields has raised purses for the winter/spring meeting – two percent across the board and $150,000 more in stakes monies.  

     The stakes schedule is highlighted by the $100,000 California Derby (to be run Jan. 14), the $100,000 California Oaks (Jan. 21), the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (Feb. 18), the Grade 3 $150,000 San Francisco Mile (April 28), and the Grade 3 $100,000 Berkeley (May 28).

     The 1 1/16-mile California Derby serves as a prep race for the 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real Derby, Northern California’s top race for 3-year-olds with Kentucky Derby hopes.  The California Oaks is a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-old fillies.  The SF Mile, the most important turf race in the Bay Area, is for 4-year-olds and up and annually attracts strong fields.  The 1 1/16-mile Berkeley is for 4-year-olds and up and is contested on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta racing surface.

    The stakes schedule also includes a pair of new $100,000 turf races for 3-year-olds bred in California – the Campanile for fillies on June 2 and the Silky Sullivan for the boys on June 9.  Both races will be run at one mile.

     Rounding out the stakes schedule are: the $75,000 Golden Poppy, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies on May 5; the $75,000 Alcatraz, a 1 1/16-mile turf test for 3-year-olds on May 12, and the $50,000 Lost In The Fog, a five-furlong dash for 2-year-olds on June 16.
     Special promotions and giveaways will be offered throughout the 2011-2012 season, including the weekly best bargain in Bay Area sports – Dollar Day Sundays.  General parking, general admission, racing programs, hot dogs, beers and sodas all cost just a buck apiece on Sundays. In May and June, the Sunday programs will also feature live concerts by some of the top bands in Northern California.

     Golden Gate Fields’ first giveaway of the meeting will salute sister track Santa Anita. Fans attending Golden Gate Fields on Dec. 31 will receive a free 2012 Santa Anita wall calendar, which features large, colorful photographs of racing action as well as “where are they now” notes about ex-racehorses that competed at “The Great Race Place.”

     Golden Gate Fields hooded sweatshirts will be presented to fans on California Derby Day, Jan. 14.   Patrons attending Golden Gate Fields on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 5, will have a chance to win a 42-inch plasma television as the track will raffle off a TV after each of the eight races.  There is a special early post time of 11:15 a.m. for the Super Bowl Sunday card, a starting time that will allow fans to get home in time for kickoff.
     Another promotion scheduled for early in the season is a long sleeve T-shirt giveaway on Feb. 18, El Camino Real Derby Day.  The stylish black shirts will feature the silk colors worn by the jockeys of the 30 El Camino Real Derby winners.

     For complete information regarding the 2011-2012 winter/spring meeting, including the monthly racing calendar, special post times, racing news, upcoming giveaways and promotions, visit