The $200,000 El Camino Real Derby (gr. III), Northern California's official Triple Crown prep, headlines the stakes schedule for the 2014-2015 winter/spring meeting at Golden Gate Fields.
Golden Gate Fields kicks off its 98-day season Dec. 26 with a nine-race program that begins at the special early post time of 12:15 p.m. PST. Santa Anita Park, Golden Gate Fields' sister racetrack, also opens its winter-spring season Friday and first post at the Arcadia oval is noon.
Shared Belief, the popular champion gelding stabled at Golden Gate Fields in the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer, will run in the opening-day feature at Santa Anita, the $300,000 Malibu Stakes. Fans will be able to watch Shared Belief compete as Golden Gate Fields simulcasts all the action from Santa Anita.
Golden Gate Fields' winter/spring meet runs through June 14 with the standard post time of 12:45 p.m. PT. The normal racing week is Thursday through Sunday, although there will be a special Wednesday program Dec. 31 (New Year's Eve), and holiday Monday racing cards Jan. 19 (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), Feb. 16 (Presidents' Day), and May 25 (Memorial Day).
Fans attending Golden Gate Fields Saturday will receive a free wall calendar.
Every Sunday throughout the meeting will be a "Dollar Day Sunday," with Golden Gate Fields offering $1 general parking, $1 general admission, $1 programs, $1 hot dogs, $1 beers, and $1 sodas.
The El Camino Real Derby is a 1 1/8-mile race for 3-year-olds that will be contested Feb. 14. It is part of the "Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship Series."
The $100,000 California Derby, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds that serves as a springboard to the El Camino Real Derby, is the first stakes of winter/spring session. It will be run Jan. 17.
Golden Gate Fields will showcase turf racing in late April when it presents the $100,000 San Francisco Mile (gr. IIIT) April 25, and a stakes double-header consisting of the $100,000 Campanile and $100,000 Silky Sullivan the following day.
The SF Mile is Northern California's top grass race for 3-year-olds and up. The one-mile Campanile is for 3-year-old fillies bred in California, and the one-mile Silky Sullivan is for California-bred 3-year-olds.
Completing the list of $100,000 races on the stakes slate is the All American (gr. III), a one-mile race for 3-year-olds and up May 25. The Memorial Day feature is run on Golden Gate Fields' synthetic Tapeta racing surface.
The stakes schedule also includes the following races:
-- $50,000 California Oaks, a 1 1/16-mile test for 3-year-old fillies Feb. 7;
-- $50,000 Lost in the Fog, a six-furlong sprint for 4-year-olds and up Feb. 16;
-- $50,000 Camilla Urso, a six-furlong dash for fillies and mares March 14;
-- $50,000 Golden Poppy, a 1 1/16-mile turf race for fillies and mares May 9;
-- $75,000 Alcatraz, a one-mile turf race for 3-year-olds May 10;
-- $50,000 Albany, a five-furlong turf dash for 3-year-olds and up June 13.