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Santa Anita Derby Simulcast Saturday, Golden Poppy Stakes Sunday
The simulcast of the Santa Anita Derby and Wood Memorial on Saturday, and the running of the Golden Poppy Stakes on Sunday are the top attractions at Golden Gate Fields this weekend.
The $750,000 Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park in Southern California and the $1 million Wood Memorial at Aqueduct in New York are major qualifying races for the Kentucky Derby. Both races will be decided at 1 1/8-miles and both attracted large fields as nine horses entered the Santa Anita Derby and 10 entered the Wood Memorial.
Northern California’s Hall of Fame trainer, Jerry Hollendorfer, will send out Hear the Ghost in the Santa Anita Derby. Owned in partnership by Hollendorfer and Halo Farms,
Hear the Ghost is coming off an upset victory over the Bob Baffert-trained Flashback in the San Felipe Stakes. Flashback, the even-money favorite in the San Felipe, is also back for the Santa Anita Derby.
The Santa Anita Derby entrants, listed in post position order, are: Flashback, Hear the Ghost, Power Broker, Tiz a Minister, Goldencents, Super Ninety Nine, Summer Exclusive, Storm Fighter, and Dirty Swagg.
The Wood Memorial field is headed by a pair of undefeated runners – Vyjack, who is perfect in four starts, and Verrazano, who is 3-for-3. Vyjack captured the Gotham Stakes in his most recent outing and Verrazano won the Tampa Bay Derby in his last start.
The Wood Memorial entrants, listed in post position order, are: Chrisandthecapper, Normandy Invasion, Quinzieme Monarque, Elnaawi, Vyjack, Mr Palmer, Always in a Tiz, Verrazano, Go Get the Basil, and Freedom Child.
Entries for Sunday’s $50,000-added Golden Poppy, the first turf stakes of Golden Gate Fields’ winter/spring meeting, will be taken Thursday morning. The 1 1/16-mile feature for fillies and mares attracted 23 nominees, including the classy Halo Dolly. Trained by Hollendorfer, Halo Dolly is a 5-year-old mare who has earned $684,986 and won several stakes, including the Grade 2 Yellow Ribbon Handicap at Del Mar last summer.
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.