Opening Weekend Excitement at Santa Anita
Horse racing enthusiasts are in for plenty of excitement at Santa Anita Park this weekend as the track opens its doors for its autumn meet…
While the planned program of entertainment and promotions will heighten the festive atmosphere, the action on the track is what most visitors will be there for. The weekend's activities will kick-off on Friday when the popular horse racing venue unveils the first of its new stakes races. Named in honor of Eddie Delahoussaye – retired Hall of Fame jockey – the Grade III Eddie D carries a purse of $100,000 and will be run at the Hillside Turf Course over a distance of 6 ½ furlongs. Among the field of thirteen set to go to post is Comma To The Top. The four-year-old took second place in the 2011 Santa Anita Derby and has won two of his last four races on turf. The winner of the race will receive the trophy from Delahoussaye, who will also be available to sign autographs for fans.
Five Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" races are scheduled for Saturday, with the headline race being the $250,000 Grade I Awesome Again run over a distance of 1 1/8 miles. Game on Dude and Richard's Kid are expected to provide a nail-biting dash for the finish line in the quest to qualify to compete in the two-day Breeders' Cup World Championships set to take place on 2-3 November at Santa Anita. The other four Grade I stakes on Saturday are The FrontRunner for two-year-olds over 1 1/16 miles; the Zenyatta for fillies and mares three-years-old and up over 1 1/16 miles; the Chandelier for two-year-old fillies over 1 1/16 miles and the Rodeo Drive for fillies and mares three-years-old and up at 1 ¼ miles on turf. The inaugural Unzip Me for three-year-old fillies will be the final race for Saturday’s Pick Six, with a total of 65 horses running in the six races.
Foaled in Kentucky on 26 April 2007, Game On Dude has won three of his five starts over 1 1/8 miles and has banked in excess of $2.8 million in his career record of 8-5-1 in 19 races. His major wins have included the 2010 Lone Star Derby, 2011 Santa Anita Handicap, 2011 Goodwood Stakes, 2012 San Antonio Stakes. 2012 Californian Stakes, and 2012 Hollywood Gold Cup.