Golden Gate Opens 36-Day Meeting Friday

Golden Gate Fields will open its 2006 fall racing season Friday with a twilight card that begins at 3:15 p.m. The 36-day meeting will run through Oct. 15 and feature nine stakes races.

A Labor Day card on Sept. 4 will feature the $150,000 Berkeley Handicap (gr. III) at 1 1/16 miles, which headlines the meeting's stakes schedule.

Golden Gate Fields has scheduled three $75,000 turf stakes for horses bred in California -- the Pacific Heights, a one-mile race for fillies and mares that will be run Sept. 23; the Presidio, a one-mile test for 3-year-olds and up on Sept. 30; and the Fort Mason, a five-furlong dash for 3-year-olds and up on Oct. 7.

The first stakes race of the meeting will be contested Saturday when fillies and mares match strides over 1 1/16 miles on the turf in the $50,000 Marina, one of five stakes carrying a $50,000 purse.

The other $50,000 stakes are: the China Basin, a 1 1/16-mile grass race for 3-year-olds and up that will be run Sept. 2; the Alameda, a six-furlong sprint for 2-year-olds on Sept. 9; the Noe Valley, a 1 1/16-mile contest for 3-year-old fillies on Sept. 16; and the Hayes Valley, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds on Oct. 14.

There will be Monday racing programs on Aug. 28, Sept. 4 and Oct. 9.

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