Gold Cup Highlights Hollywood Meet
The 72nd running of the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) tops a stakes schedule worth more than $5.2 million during the 2011 spring/summer meet at Hollywood Park. The 54-day season begins Thursday, April 21, and continues through Sunday, July 17.
A 1 1/4-mile event over Cushion Track, the Gold Cup, which was won a year ago by 8-1 shot Awesome Gem, will be run Saturday, July 9, and is part of a stakes doubleheader. The card will also feature the $200,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. III) for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles.
The American Oaks (gr. IT), which will celebrate its 10th anniversary this year, will be contested Saturday, July 16, and is the last of seven grade I events to be offered during the meet.
An invitational for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/4 miles, the American Oaks anchors a program that also includes the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) for older females at seven furlongs and the $100,000 Landaluce for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs.
The $300,000 Shoemaker Mile (gr. IT) will be run Saturday, July 2, along with the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) at seven furlongs.
Two other grass stakes will be contested over the Fourth of July weekend – the $70,000-added Robert K. Kerlan Memorial Handicap at six furlongs will be run Sunday, July 3, and the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile (gr. II, for older fillies and mares, is part of a special holiday card the following day.
The Hollywood Gold Cup and American Oaks programs are among 10 multiple stakes days at the meeting. The first is Gold Rush XII. The annual showcase for California-breds will be held Saturday, April 23.
Run at 1 1/8 miles, the $150,000 Snow Chief Stakes is the main Gold Rush event. The other notable stakes are the $125,000 Melair, the $125,000 B. Thoughtful, and the $125,000 Tiznow.
In addition to the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby, Saturday, May 7 will feature the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap, the $100,000 Senorita Stakes and the $70,000-added Cool Frenchy Stakes. The LeRoy, a Grade II at 1 1/16 miles, is the first prep for the Gold Cup.
Along with the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I), the primary race Saturday, June 11, will be the $250,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap (gr. IT) at 1 ¼ miles. There will be three other stakes run that afternoon – the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap, the $100,000 Affirmed Handicap, and the $100,000 Cinderella Stakes.
The $150,000 Californian (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles, will be run Saturday, June 4.
For the first time since 2007, a filly or mare not named Zenyatta will win the $250,000 Vanity Handicap (gr. I), which will be offered Saturday, June 18. The 2010 Horse of the Year, Zenyatta, who was recently bred to Bernardini, won the Vanity an unprecedented three times in succession (2008-2010).
A race won by nine champions during its illustrious history, the $150,000 American Handicap (gr. IIT)will be shortened to one mile on turf when it is run for the 72nd time Saturday, May 28. The American has not been run at a distance other than 1 1/8 miles since Noor won at 1 1/4 miles in 1950.
The stakes schedule commences April 21 with the $70,000-added Harry Henson Stakes. Named in honor of the legendary track announcer who worked at Hollywood Park from 1958-1982, the Henson is for 3-year-olds at six furlongs on turf.
Complete stakes schedule follows:
Date Stakes Purse Distance
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