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GRADE I SANTA ANITA DERBY PURSE NOW $1 MILLION AS SANTA ANITA STAKES SCHEDULE INCLUDES INCREASES FOR 20 STAKES; GRADE I MALIBU & GRADE I LA BREA LEAD WAY ON OPENING DAY DEC. 26
SUNSHINE MILLIONS DAY, JAN. 25, REMADE TO INCLUDE $250,000 CALIFORNIA CUP TURF CLASSIC, $250,000 CAL CUP DERBY & $200,000 CAL CUP OAKS
ARCADIA, Calif. (Nov. 27, 2013)—Led by the Grade I, $1 million Santa Anita Derby, Santa Anita Park has announced its proposed stakes schedule for the upcoming 2013-14 winter/spring meeting, which will open on Dec. 26 with a pair of prestigious Grade I stakes, the Malibu and the La Brea. Santa Anita’s 69-day meet will include a total of eight Grade I events and will conclude April 20.
“We are thrilled to be able to offer $1 million for the Santa Anita Derby and we’re happy to be able to raise the purse money on a total of 20 stakes this winter and spring,” said Santa Anita Vice President of Racing, Rick Hammerle. “Top to bottom, we feel this is a very comprehensive schedule and we’re very pleased to be offering substantive purse increases on some of our most important races. In addition to the Derby, we’ve increased the (Grade I) Santa Anita Oaks to $400,000 and the (Grade II) San Antonio to $300,000. We’ve also increased one of our most prestigious sprints, the (Grade II) San Carlos, to $250,000.”
The Santa Anita Derby, which had offered a purse of $750,000, and which has produced nine Kentucky Derby winners, was won this year by Goldencents, who went on to capture the Grade I, $2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile on Nov. 2 at Santa Anita.
Santa Anita will again provide horsemen with several graded stakes options on the road to the Santa Anita Derby, as the Grade III Sham Stakes at one mile will be run Jan. 11; the Grade II, 1 1/16 miles Robert B. Lewis is slated for Feb. 8; the Grade II, seven furlong San Vicente will go on Feb. 16, and the Grade II San Felipe at 1 1/16 miles, will be run March 8.
Santa Anita has also substantially expanded the scope of its Sunshine Millions Day, as it will embrace a very significant California Cup theme on Jan. 25.
“In addition to the Grade II Santa Monica, we’re going to offer the $250,000 California Cup Turf Classic (1 1/8 miles), the $250,000 California Cup Derby (1 1/16 miles), the $200,000 California Cup Oaks (one mile turf), the $125,000 California Cup Sprint (six furlongs) and the $125,000 Sunshine Millions Filly and Mare Turf Sprint (6 ½ furlongs hillside turf) on Millions Day," said Hammerle. "Most of these races were formerly run on Cal Cup Day in the fall, and we feel they’re going to be a great addition to the Sunshine Millions program and provide great opportunities for our California breeders at the beginning of the year.”
Also included on Santa Anita’s Grade I stakes roster are the $300,000 Las Virgenes Stakes for 3-year-old fillies on Feb. 1; the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap and $300,000 Frank E. Kilroe Mile on March 8; the $300,000 Santa Margarita Stakes on March 15; and the $400,000 Santa Anita Oaks on Santa Anita Derby Day April 5.
Santa Anita’s traditional winter/spring meeting will close on Sunday, April 20. Santa Anita will reopen for a spring/summer meet on Friday, April 25, and will run through Sunday, June 29.
Santa Anita’s complete 2013-14 winter/spring stakes schedule can be found at santaanita.com.