Golden Gate Fields Opens 2012-2013 Winter/Spring Meeting Wednesday

Golden Gate Fields Opens 2012-2013 Winter/Spring Meeting Wednesday

     The 2012-2013 winter/spring meeting at Golden Gate Fields, which will feature 101 days of thoroughbred racing, opens Wednesday with a nine-race program.  Post time for the opener is 12:15 p.m.

     The winter/spring season runs through June 16 and will feature 11 stakes races, including the $100,000 California Derby on Jan. 12, the Grade 3 $200,000 El Camino Real Derby on Feb. 16, the Grade 3 $100,000 San Francisco Mile on April 27, and the Grade 3 $100,000 All American Stakes on May 27 (Memorial Day).

     The California Derby is a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds that serves as a steppingstone to the 1 1/8-mile El Camino Real Derby, Northern California’s official Kentucky Derby prep.  

     The El Camino Real Derby is part of the new “Road to the Kentucky Derby,” a 36-race series that will award points to the top four finishers in each race.  The top 20 point earners nominated to the Triple Crown will get a spot in the starting gate for the Kentucky Derby on May 4 at Churchill Downs.  Point distribution in the El Camino Real Derby will be as follows: 10 points for first place, four for second, two for third, and one for fourth.

     The San Francisco Mile, for 3-year-olds and up, is the Bay Area’s top race for turf milers.  The All American, also for 3-year-olds and up, will be run at 1 1/16-miles on Golden Gate Fields’ synthetic Tapeta racing surface.  

     The stakes schedule features two other six-figure races – the $100,000 Campanile, a one-mile turf race for California-bred 3-year-old fillies on June 1, and the $100,000 Silky Sullivan, a one-mile grass race for California-bred 3-year-olds on June 9.

     The stakes slate is rounded out by the following $50,000-added events: the California Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-old fillies on Feb. 9; the Albany, a six-furlong sprint
for 3-year-olds and up on Feb. 18 (Presidents’ Day); the Camilla Urso, a six-furlong test for fillies and mares, 4-year-olds and up, on March 9; the Golden Poppy, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, on April 7; and the Lost in the Fog, a five-furlong dash for 2-year-olds on June 15.

     Golden Gate Fields has scheduled several promotions for the winter/spring meeting, beginning with a 2013 wall calendar giveaway on Dec. 29.  Always a popular item, the colorful wall calendars will be given to fans attending the races with a paid admission.

     Other early-season promotions include an umbrella giveaway on Jan. 12 (California Derby Day) and the chance for fans to win a 42-inch HD television on Feb. 2 (the day before the Super Bowl).  A drawing for a television will be conducted after each of the nine races on Feb. 2, with the winning jockey from each race pulling out the name of the winner.

     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 programs will also feature live concerts by some of the top bands in the Bay Area.

     The winter/spring season gets off to a flying start with six racing programs in seven days.  After Wednesday’s opening-day program, Golden Gate Fields will be dark Thursday and then conduct racing Friday, Dec. 28, through Tuesday, Jan. 1.

     For more information about the winter/spring meeting, including the monthly racing calendar, special post times, racing news, upcoming giveaways and promotions, visit

     Golden Gate Fields is a Stronach Group company, North America's leading Thoroughbred racetrack owner/operator.  The Stronach Group racetracks include Santa Anita Park, Gulfstream Park & Casino, Golden Gate Fields, Portland Meadows, Laurel Park and Pimlico Race Course, home of the world-famous Preakness.  The company is one of North America's top race horse breeders through its Adena Springs operation.  The company owns and operates AmTote, a global leader in wagering technology, and XpressBet, an Internet and telephone account wagering service.  The Stronach Group is also a major producer of televised horseracing programming through its HRTV cable and satellite network and is North America's premier supplier of virtual online horseracing games, as well as a leading producer of social media content for the horseracing industry.