The Great Race Place, Santa Anita, opens a 24-day Autumn Meet Friday, which will be highlighted by the Breeders' Cup World Championships on November 2-3.
Santa Anita will present six Grade 1, $250,000 Breeders' Cup "Win and You're In" Challenge Races over the first two weekends of the meet, with five of them carded on Saturday: the Rodeo Drive (formerly the Yellow Ribbon) for fillies and mares at 1 1/4 miles on turf, the Awesome Again (formerly the Goodwood) for three-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles, the Zenyatta (formerly the Lady's Secret) for fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles, the Chandelier (formerly the Oak Leaf) for two-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles, and the FrontRunner (formerly the Norfolk) for two-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles.
The Grade 1, $250,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (formerly the Ancient Title) at six furlongs will be run on the second Saturday of the meet, October 6.
Santa Anita, which has also been designated as the host-site for the 2013 Breeders' Cup, will be hosting the event for the sixth time this fall. The two-day gala will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Network and the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic will be shown for the first time in Eastern prime time on November 3, via over-the-air NBC.
The opening day feature is the Grade 3, $150,000 Eddie D. for three-year-olds and up at about 6 1/2 furlongs down the Camino Real Turf Course. Formerly named the Morvich, the race was renamed for retired Hall of Fame jockey Eddie Delahoussaye.
The Eddie D., which drew a field of 13, is a course-and-distance prep for the Grade 2 Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint. The wide-open contest includes Green Flash Handicap winner Shrug, Grade 1 veteran Comma to the Top, multiple stakes scorers Calimonco and Mensa Heat, Grade 1-placed sophomore Unbridled's Note, Grade 3-placed Red Sun, stakes winner Tale of a Champion, and local two-time allowance hero Koast.
The first 5,000 fans in attendance Friday will receive a beautiful collector's item booklet entitled "Eddie D. Career Highlights," which is replete with color photos of the great Delahoussaye taken throughout his remarkable career. Delahoussaye will be on hand to sign memorabilia from 11 a.m. to noon (PDT).
The Autumn Meet will hit full stride Saturday as the first 15,000 fans on-track will receive a free replica of the Santa Anita baseball cap made famous earlier this year by Kentucky Derby-winning trainer Doug O'Neill, who will also participate in an autograph session from 11 a.m. to noon in the East Paddock Gardens.
First post time throughout the meet will be at 1 p.m., with the exception of the two Breeders' Cup days, when first post will be at 11:15 a.m. and 10:05 a.m., respectively.