The California State Fair in Sacramento kicks off its live Thoroughbred meet Aug. 25, and this year will feature a special Aug. 27 doubleheader with programs in the afternoon and evening.
The 11-day session concludes Labor Day, Sept. 6. The dark days are Aug. 30-31. Races will be scheduled for Arabians, Appaloosas, Paints, Quarter Horses, and mules as well as Thoroughbreds.
The doubleheader is something new. Though night harness racing is held at Cal Expo for most the year, Thoroughbred racing has been held in the afternoon.
"We would like to showcase live racing to an evening Sacramento audience as they haven't seen the Thoroughbred races under the lights in many years," director of racing Dave Elliott said.
The 17-race program (nine in the afternoon and eight in the evening) on Aug. 27 will begin at 1 p.m. PDT and conclude at 9 p.m. with a one-hour break in between. The doubleheader will feature a grab bag giveaway and the Dachshund Derby obedience trials during the break.
The Thoroughbred feature of the meet is the $60,000 Governor's Handicap Aug. 28. The $10,000 Open Mule Challenge is included on that program. On Aug. 29, 3-year-old California-bred Thoroughbred will go in the $50,000 Earlene McCabe Derby.
The fair will offer 10 races during the week and 12 races on Saturdays and Sundays. Post time is 1 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Sept. 3.