The important summer meetings at Del Mar and Saratoga Race Course each registered improved numbers compared with their 2013 seasons. Total handle was up at Del Mar; Saratoga saw total handle improve and a spike in attendance.
Before you hit the clubhouse, inform yourself with this official Gentleman's Guide to Fashion at the Races: Spring Edition. No capes or knickerbockers allowed.
Gary and Mary West's homebred Book Review found California to her liking Dec. 26, when she got up over tough contender Reneesgotzip and 2011 2-year-old champion My Miss Aurelia in the $300,000 La Brea Stakes.
Attendance, on-track handle, and total handle all posted gains over 2011 totals as 25,676 turned out for opening day of the 144th meeting at Saratoga Race Course July 20.
A crowd of 44,579 thronged to Santa Anita for its opening-day card Dec. 26, the largest since 1994.
Saratoga registers gains in key categories on opening day.
On-track and all-sources handle were up significantly over 2008 totals as Saratoga Race Course opened its 141st season July 29.
The renovated Cushion Track at Santa Anita Park produced a track record at seven furlongs in the second race of the opening day card on Dec. 26. Bob Black Jack hit the wire in 1:20.37, .53 seconds faster than the previous mark set during the fall Oak Tree Association meet. While new surfaces always mean new records, the previous dirt record for seven furlongs set by Spectacular Bid in 1980 was 1:20.
Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day will ride at Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie on opening night, Thursday, April 3.
The Oaklawn Jockey Club is preparing for its 99th year of racing which opens Friday, Jan. 24.
Rock Opera, ridden by 55-year-old Laffit Pincay, Jr., and True Phenomenon, under Thoroughbred racing's comeback jockey of the year, Patrick Valenzuela, won divisions of the featured Oceanside Stakes today before the largest opening-day crowd in Del Mar history, 37,439.
Racing in the region returns to Laurel Park Thursday and offers patrons free admission and programs to celebrate opening day.
Woodbine Race Course will introduce to its patrons two, new hi-tech infield display boards on Saturday when the track launches its live Thoroughbred meet.
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