REVITALIZED GREAT RACE PLACE SET FOR TRADITIONAL WINTER OPENER ON DEC. 26
ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 2, 2014)–With a tremendous two-day Breeders’ Cup on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, Santa Anita’s 25-day Autumn Meet finished with a flourish on Sunday, enabling the track to post increases in pari-mutuel handle. All sources handle for the meet was up four percent, while on-track handle showed a three percent increase over last year.
On-track attendance for the two Breeders’ Cup days totaled 98,319–with 61,114 on Breeders’ Cup Saturday, and 37,205 on Breeders’ Cup Friday. This represented a four percent increase over last year’s Breeders’ Cup numbers. The Breeders’ Cup will be held next year at Keeneland Racecourse in Kentucky and will return to Santa Anita for a record ninth time in 2016.
With the closing of Hollywood Park late last year, Santa Anita, for the first time ever, conducted live racing from Dec. 26, 2013, through June 29 of this year–a total of 107 days. Combined with the 25-day Autumn Meet, The Great Race Place had 132 days of live racing.
“As we wrap up our first year of racing under this new calendar at Santa Anita Park, we’d like to thank our fans, horsemen and employees for all of their support,” said Santa Anita President Tom Ludt. “We just hosted an unprecedented third consecutive Breeders’ Cup this week and the racing world once again saw what a tremendous facility we have here.
“From our racing surfaces to our recently renovated areas throughout the Grandstand and Club House, we performed at a world class level and we look forward to again hosting the World Championships in 2016.”
With three wins on closing day, Bob Baffert outpointed Jerry Hollendorfer and Leandro Mora 14-13, to snare his 30th Southern California training title. Rafael Bejarano led all jockeys with 28 wins, six clear of runner-up Joe Talamo–marking the Peruvian marvel’s 20th Southern California riding crown.
Live racing returns to Arcadia on Dec. 26, and Santa Anita will be open for live racing through June 28. First post time on opening day will be at 12 noon and all fans attending will receive Santa Anita’s traditional wall calendar, free with paid admission. For additional information on live racing and simulcast schedules during the upcoming Del Mar race meeting, please visit santaanita.com.