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$1 MILLION SUNSHINE MILLIONS DAY SET FOR JAN. 28, SANTA ANITA, CTBA & TOC TEAM TO CREATE NEW FORMAT AS GRADE I SANTA MONICA HEADS POWERFUL PROGRAM
ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 16, 2011)—Santa Anita Park has teamed with the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association (CTBA) and the Thoroughbred Owners of California (TOC) to create a newly structured $1 million Sunshine Millions Day program on Saturday, Jan. 28. The Grade I, $300,000 Santa Monica Stakes for older fillies and mares at seven furlongs will head a powerful card that also will include the Grade III, $100,000 Santa Ysabel Stakes and three other $100,000 stakes races for horses bred in California.
“Sunshine Millions is one of the biggest days of the year in California and, with the cooperation of the CTBA and TOC, we’re looking forward to building upon that success ,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “The Santa Monica historically brings together many of the country’s best fillies and mares. Adding it to the state-bred races will enable us to offer our fans excellent racing with good betting value and our horsemen over a million dollars in purse money.”
The prestigious Santa Monica will be run for the 55th time and the Santa Ysabel, for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, will be contested for the 44th time.
The three California-bred stakes, the Crystal Water, for older horses at 1 1/16 miles, the Sensational Star, for older horses at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s hillside turf course and the Valentine Dancer, for older fillies and mare at one mile on turf, round out the day’s stakes action.
The Santa Monica, taken last season by the John Sadler-trained Switch, has been won three out of the past six years by Hall of Fame conditioner Bob Baffert.
“I think it’s great that Santa Anita has been able to work this deal out with the CTBA and the TOC,” said Baffert. “The Santa Monica is one of the most important races in the country for fillies and mares and we hope to be able to take a shot at it again in January. The purses for the whole day are awesome and we’re going to run as many horses as we can.”
In addition to great racing, fans will be treated to the season’s first Gourmet Food Truck Festival, a California Craft Beer Festival, a $400,000 guaranteed Pick 4 and 15,000 free beach chairs.
Fans attending on Sunshine Millions Day will also receive a pair of bounce-back paid admissions redeemable on Strub Stakes Day, the following Saturday, Feb. 4.
Santa Anita’s winter/spring meeting will open Dec. 26. For more information, go to www.santaanita.com, or call (626) 574-RACE.