OTB Race Previews
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Santa Anita Park 's 16-day Autumn Meeting will get off to a flying start on Friday, October 1, as four graded stakes will highlight what figures to be a tremendous card.
The Autumn Meet, which will run through October 31, will again provide "Ship & Win" incentives to attract out-of-state connections and will showcase some of the best horses in the world as they complete final preparations for the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships at Del Mar on November 5 and 6.
Three Breeders' Cup "Win & You're In" Challenge Race qualifiers, along with the Grade II, $200,000 Eddie D Stakes, will highlight an afternoon of world-class racing on opening day, with first post time at 1 p.m. PT.
The Grade I, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes, for 2-year-olds at a mile and one sixteenth, will serve as a prep to the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile; the Grade II, $200,000 Chandelier Stakes, for 2-year-old fillies pointing to the Grade I Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies, and the $100,0000 Speakeasy Stakes, for 2-year-olds at five furlongs on turf, will serve as a prep to the Grade I Breeders Cup Juvenile Turf.
The Eddie D, named for the all-time great retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye, is for 3-year-olds and up at 6 ½ furlongs on turf and will provide a launching pad to the Grade I Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint at Del Mar November 6.
"Our intention is to get the Autumn Meet off to a fast start," said Chris Merz, Santa Anita Director of Racing and Racing Secretary. "With the Breeders' Cup at Del Mar this year, we want the word to go out, far and wide, that we're offering tremendous opportunities for owners and horsemen to prep here and have their best possible chances for Championship success on November 5 & 6.
"We anticipate great weather with optimal conditions for both training and racing. When you factor in that we're just a 90-minute van ride away from Del Mar, we're hopeful a good many folks will choose to race here this fall. We look forward to welcoming everyone and to providing lucrative gambling opportunities to our fans as well."
On Saturday, October 2, four pivotal Breeders' Cup prep races will be offered: The Grade I, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at a mile and one eighth for horses considering the Grade I, $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic at Del Mar November 6; the Grade I, $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes at a mile and one quarter on turf for fillies and mares three and up that are pointing to the Grade I Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf, and the Grade II, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship at six furlongs-a Breeders' Cup "Win & You're In" qualifier to the Grade I Breeders' Cup Sprint.
Additionally, the Grade II, $200,000 City of Hope Mile (turf), a potential showcase for those horses eyeing the Grade I Breeders' Cup Mile, will also be run on October 2.
On Sunday, October 3, a total of five stakes will be carded, including one additional "Win & You're In" qualifier-the Grade II, $200,000 Zenyatta, which will be contested by fillies and mares three and up at 1 1/16 miles. The Zenyatta will serve as a prep to the Grade I Breeders' Cup Distaff. A pair of $200,000 stakes for juveniles at one mile on turf, the Surfer Girl and the Zuma Beach, will also be offered, as will the Grade III, $100,000 Chillingworth Stakes and the $75,000 Unzip Me.
The popular `Ship & Win' program will again be available to participating horses who started at Del Mar and to eligible newcomers making their first start at Santa Anita's Autumn Meet.
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