2024 Santa Anita Park Classic Meet at OTB
2024 Santa Anita Park Classic Meet Schedule At OTB
A crown jewel of American sports, Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California kicks off its 89th anniversary year of operation Tuesday with a traditional day-after-Christmas opening-day program that gets underway early with first post time at 11 a.m. PT.
The Santa Anita's Classic Meet includes 49 days of live Thoroughbred racing ending on April 8. Following a 12-day break, Santa Anita will reopen for its 29-day Hollywood Meet on April 19. The Hollywood Meet concludes June 16.
Santa Anita is set to hit the ground running on Tuesday. Among the opening-day attractions are six graded stakes. This includes six Grade I races: the $300,000 Malibu for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs on the main track; $300,0000 La Brea for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on the main track; and $300,000 American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies going 1 ¼ miles on turf.
The remaining opening-day stakes are all Grade II's worth $200,0000 in prize money. They are the Mathis Mile for 3-year-olds on turf, the San Antonio going 1 1/16 miles on dirt and San Gabriel at 1 1/8 miles on turf. Both the San Antonio and San Gabriel are for 3-year-olds and up.
"I think we're all excited to get running again," said Jason Egan, Santa Anita Director of Racing and Racing Secretary. "Opening day is always a special day for Santa Anita."
Egan added this year's racing program will be similar to those found in recent years.
"There aren't any big deviations, but we are trying a few modifications to some (race) conditions that hopefully fit our program better," he noted. "Nothing significant, just a few tweaks to hopefully make things flow a little better."
As far as the current horse population, Egan said it was "on par" with recent years. With that said, there will be a handful of new trainers with a full-time presence at Santa Anita this season.
Eastern-based trainers Richard Dutrow and Jonathan Thomas will each have strings here this winter. Dutrow has been allocated 10 stalls. His Santa Anita operation includes White Abarrio, who won the rich Breeders' Cup Classic here on Nov. 4.
Thomas has already sent six horses to Santa Anita with up to six more likely to arrive in coming weeks
At least two trainers from Northern California will also have strings at Santa Anita this winter. Both Ed Moger Jr. and Brendan Galvin will have up to 25 horses stabled here by mid-January, according to Egan. Fellow Northern California trainer Jack Steiner is also slated to send a string to Santa Anita later this winter.
"It can always be better, but I'm not concerned with where we are at," Egan said of the horse population.
As for horseplayers, there will be no shortage of betting options at the Classic Meet. In addition to the traditional wagering fare, Santa Anita will also offer an all-turf Pick 3 each day and a Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 every Saturday and Sunday beginning Jan. 6.
The all-turf Pick 3 is a $3 minimum wager offered on the final three turf races of the day. The Coast-to-Coast Pick 5 is a $1 minimum wager with a player-friendly 15 percent takeout. The sequence will include races from both Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park.
Additionally, Santa Anita will offer a traditional $1 Pick 6 every race day.
"We're going to try and put our best product forward," Egan said. "Hopefully the fans and horseplayers will enjoy it and can make some money."
THREE GRADE I'S AMONG SIX STAKES SET FOR OPENING DAY TUESDAY
Entries for Tuesday's opening-day program, which features six graded stakes including three Grade Is, will be taken on Friday. Nominations for all six stakes closed on Dec. 12.
The Grade I, $300,000 Malibu for 3-year-olds going seven furlongs on dirt attracted 13 nominees. They include a quintet for Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert: Speed Boat Beach, Fort Bragg, Hejazi, Elwood Blues and National Treasure. National Treasure, most recently beaten just a nose here in the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile Nov. 4, is also nominated to the Grade I San Antonio at 1 1/16 miles on the main track.
The Malibu is also expected to include at least two Eastern invaders, Raise Cain and Damon's Mound. Raise Cain most recently won the seven-furlong Perryville Stakes Oct. 21 at Keeneland for trainer Ben Colebrook. Damon's Mound won the GII Gallant Bob going six furlongs at Parx on Sept. 23 and most recently was second in the Steel Valley Sprint at Mahoning Valley Nov. 20 for trainer Michelle Lovell.
The other two Grade Is on opening day are the $300,000 La Brea for 3-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on dirt and $300,000 American Oaks at 1 ¼ miles on turf.
The La Brea could also include a handful of eastern invaders. Among those nominated are Vahva and Alva Starr, most recently the one-two finishers in the GII Raven Run at Keeneland Oct. 21 going seven furlongs on dirt, and recent Churchill Downs allowance winner Royal Spa trained by Rodolphe Brisset. Vahva is trained by Cherie DeVaux while Alva Starr hails from the Brett Brinkman barn.
Among the leading local contenders for the La Brea are Clearly Unhinged for trainer Michael McCarthy, who exits a sixth-place finish in the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint here Nov. 4; and three fillies trained by Hall of Famer Richard Mandella: Grade III winner Ice Dancing, Coffee in Bed and Llorona, an impressive debut winner going six furlongs at Del Mar Dec. 1.
The American Oaks has nine fillies nominated including Grade I winner Anisette for trainer Leonard Powell and Grade III winner Ruby Nell for Mandella.
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TRADITIONAL $1 PICK SIX HEADS SANTA ANITA'S CLASSIC MEET OPENING DAY WAGERING MENU ON TUESDAY, DEC. 26
DEC 20 - Santa Anita's traditional $1 Pick Six heads a robust and varied 2023-24 Classic Meet Wagering Menu as The Great Race Place approaches its traditional opening day on Tuesday, Dec. 26.
The $1 Pick Six features a carryover component and a 70/30 split, with 70 percent of each day's net pool going to any ticket with six winners and the remaining 30 percent paid out to consolation winners with five winners. In the event there are no tickets with six winners, 70 percent of the net pool is carried over to the next racing day.
Along with the $1 Pick Six, Santa Anita will also again be offering the $3 All Turf Pick 3. Unveiled at its recent Autumn Meet, the $3 All Turf Pick, which is comprised of the final three turf races each day, proved very popular with players seeking large fields and added value.
Additionally, all Trifectas and rolling Pick 3's will now be $1 minimum wagers in an effort to increase mutuel payouts.
The upcoming Classic Meet will no doubt get off to a fast start, as three Grade I, $300,000 stakes, the Malibu, the La Brea and the American Oaks headline what figures to be a spectacular card. Additionally, three Grade II, $200,000 stakes, the San Antonio, the San Gabriel and the Mathis Mile, will also adorn the opening day proceedings.
Santa Anita will continue to offer a low 14 percent takeout 50 cent Early Pick 5, as well as the 50 cent Late Pick 5, $1 exactas, $2 rolling Daily Doubles, an early 50 cent Pick 4, as well as 10 cent Superfectas on all races with a minimum of six runners. As noted above, all Trifectas and rolling Pick 3's are now $1 minimum wagers.
In addition to wagering on-track, fans have a variety of betting options, including OffTrackBetting.com, which can be downloaded free of charge at the App Store.
2024 CLASSIC MEET COMPLETE WAGERING MENU
- Traditional $1 Pick Six offered on the final six races each day
- Low 14 percent takeout 50 cent Early Pick 5, as well as the traditional 50 cent Late Pick 5
- $3 All Turf Pick 3, to be offered on the final three grass races each day $1 Golden Hour Pick Four, with 15 percent takeout
- $5 Golden Hour Double, with 15 percent takeout
- $2 Win, Place & Show wagering on each race, featuring the lowest takeout (15.43 percent) of any major racetrack in North America
- $1 Trifectas on each race with a minimum of four scheduled runners
- 10 cent Superfectas on all races with a minimum of six scheduled runners
- $1 Exacts on each race
- 50 cent Early Pick 4, which is comprised of races 2 through 5
- 50 cent Late Pick 4, covering the final four races each day
- 50 cent Mid Pick 4, available only when there are 10 or more races carded. In the event of an 11-race program, the wager begins with race 5
- Rolling $2 Daily Doubles
- $1 Rolling Pick 3's, beginning with the first race each day
- $1 Super Hi 5, available on all races with seven or more declared starters and requires players to pick the first five finishers in exact order. If there are no perfect tickets with five winners, there is no consolation payoff, as 100 percent of the net pool is carried over to the next Super Hi 5 race.