Santa Anita Park, which will host the Breeders' Cup World Championshipsfor an unprecedented third consecutive year on October 31 and November 1, has announced it will offer a total of 28 graded stakes, including 13 Breeders' Cup events over the course of its 24-day Autumn Meet, which begins Friday, September 26. The Eddie D. Stakes, for three-year-olds and up at 6 1/2 furlongs down the hillside turf course, will serve as the meet's initial stakes offering on opening day.
The Great Race Place will offer six Grade 1 Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge races over the first two weekends as horsemen will be afforded ample opportunities to ready their charges for their respective Breeders' Cup engagements.
On Saturday, September 27, Santa Anita will offer five Grade 1 Breeders' Cup preps: The Frontrunner Stakes for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, the Awesome Again Stakes for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, the Rodeo Drive Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on turf , the Zenyatta Stakes for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles and the Chandelier Stakes for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles.
The following Saturday, October 4, the Grade 1 Santa Anita Sprint Championship will serve as a springboard to the Breeders' Cup Sprint on November 1. In addition to the Santa Anita Sprint Championship on October 4, Santa Anita will again partner with one of the nation's leading cancer research and treatment centers, as the track will present the City of Hope Mile for three-year-olds and up on turf. World renowned City of Hope is located just east of Arcadia in neighboring Duarte, California.
"We are pleased to again be offering a comprehensive stakes schedule this fall and we're hopeful it's going to be very well received by our fans and horsemen," said Rick Hammerle, Santa Anita vice president of racing. "Horses prepping here have traditionally done very well over the course of the two-day Breeders' Cup and we're hoping that will encourage others to come in early and get ready here at Santa Anita.
"In addition to our graded stakes, our state-bred program is very important to us and we're proud to offer, in conjunction with the CTBA, the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile Fillies on Breeders' Cup Friday (October 31), and the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile on Breeders' Cup Saturday (November 1). Both of these stakes are part of the Golden State program and they'll both get good national exposure on these two days. We'll also card a couple races at 6 1/2 furlongs down the hillside turf course -- the California Distaff Handicap for fillies and mares on October 11 and the California Flag Handicap on October 18."
"These races offer great opportunities for our owners and breeders and we're confident they will attract sizable fields for our fans to bet on," CTBA Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Burge said. "Getting national exposure for our breeding and incentive programs is a big priority and we get that by running in conjunction with the Breeders' Cup."
Click here for the complete stakes schedule.