HANDLE & ON TRACK ATTENDANCE UP AS SANTA ANITA PARK’S WINTER MEET CONCLUDES; 39-DAY SPRING SESSION TO OPEN FRIDAY, APRIL 24

 

ARCADIA, Calif. (April 19, 2015)–With scintillating performances by top older horse Shared Belief and Santa Anita Derby winner Dortmund highlighting a 68-day run that started on Dec. 26, Santa Anita Park’s 2014-15 Winter Meet drew to a close Sunday, with the track posting a three percent increase in overall pari-mutuel handle and a four percent hike in on-track attendance.

For the second year in a row, Santa Anita will conduct a 39-day Spring Meeting, which will kick off on Friday, April 24 and run through June 28. First post time on Friday will be at 1 p.m., and first post each weekend, with the exception of Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont Stakes Days, will be at 12:30 p.m.

Santa Anita will again offer fans free Infield admission and parking, via Gate 6 on the track’s northern perimeter.

With Dortmund, American Pharoah, Firing Line and others leading a talented Santa Anita-based contingent of 3-year-olds into the May 2 Kentucky Derby, expectations are running high, as the $1 million Santa Anita Derby has produced 17 winners of the Run for the Roses, including last year’s running which was taken by California Chrome.

Trained by Bob Baffert and owned by Kaleem Shah, Dortmund remained undefeated on Derby Day, April 4, as 38,647 on track fans contributed to an overall handle of $21,586,685.94.

The Race of the Meet, as voted by the media, was the Grade II, $500,000 San Antonio Invitational on Feb. 7, in which Shared Belief defeated 2014 Horse of the Year California Chrome.

Peruvian-born Rafael Bejarano, 33, notched his sixth Winter Meet riding title as he finished with 76wins, 18 better than runner-up Tyler Baze. In the trainers race, Jerry Hollendorfer defeated Peter Miller in a photo finish, 34-33. It was Hollendorfer’s second consecutive Winter Meet title. In the owners division, Hronis Racing, LLC, led the way with 13 wins, two more than runner-up Rockingham Ranch.

Trained by John Sadler, Hronis Racing’s Stellar Wind was an emphatic 5 ¼ winner of the Grade I Santa Anita Oaks April 4, and she’ll carry the Hronis colors in the Grade I Kentucky Oaks on May 1.

A number of promotions and events will be offered on Kentucky Derby Day and throughout racing’s Triple Crown, which culminates with the Belmont Stakes on June 6. For more information, fans are encouraged to visit santaanita.com/events, or call (626) 574-RACE.