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Hollywood Announces Spring Stakes Schedule

Southern California track to begin 75th anniversary season April 25.

The 74th running of the $500,000 Hollywood Gold Cup and the $350,000 American Oaks (both gr. I) headline a stakes schedule worth more than $6.8 million for the 2013 spring/summer meet at Betfair Hollywood Park.
The 75th anniversary season begins April 25 and continues through July 14.
Contested at 1 1/4 miles over Cushion Track, the Gold Cup, won a year ago by Game On Dude, will be July 6. It is part of a stakes doubleheader that will also feature the $150,000 Royal Heroine Mile (gr. IIT) for older fillies and mares on turf.

The American Oaks, which featured a rail-skimming victory by favored Lady of Shamrock in 2012, will be contested July 13. It is the last of six grade I events during the meet.

An invitational for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/4 miles on turf, the American Oaks anchors a program that also includes the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II) for older females at seven furlongs, the $150,000 Landaluce Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at six furlongs, and the $150,000 Hollywood Juvenile Championship (gr. III) for 2-year-olds at six furlongs.
"Once again, the Hollywood Gold Cup and the American Oaks are the highlights of the season,'' said Martin Panza, Betfair Hollywood Park's racing secretary and vice president for racing. "The meet should get off to a good start with the well-received Golden State series continuing on California Gold Rush Day (April 27).''
A grade I on turf, the $300,000 Shoemaker Mile will be run June 29, along with the $250,000 Triple Bend Handicap (gr. I) at seven furlongs.
For the second year in a row, the Swaps Stakes (gr. II) will be offered on the Fourth of July. Offering a purse of $150,000, the Swaps, which is for 3-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles, is the main attraction of a holiday card that kicks off the second-to-last week of the 49-day meet.
The first of 10 multiple stakes days at the stand is Gold Rush XIV, the annual showcase for California breds.
Run at 1 1/8 miles, the $300,000 Snow Chief Stakes and the $250,000 Melair Stakes are the main Gold Rush events. The Snow Chief is for 3-year-olds while the Melair is for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/16 miles. The other notable Gold Rush stakes are the $125,000 B. Thoughtful, which is restricted to older fillies and mares, and the $125,000 Tiznow for older horses. Both are run at 7 1/2 furlongs.
In addition to the simulcast of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), the May 4 program will feature the $150,000 Mervyn LeRoy Handicap (gr. II) and the $70,000-added Cool Frenchy Stakes. The LeRoy, at 1 1/16 miles, is the first prep for the Gold Cup.
Along with the simulcast of the Belmont Stakes, the primary race June 8 is the $200,000 Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap, a grade II at 1 1/4 miles on turf. There will be two other grass stakes for 3-year-old fillies that afternoon: the $150,000 Honeymoon Handicap (gr. IIT) at 1 1/8 miles and the $70,000-added Manhattan Beach at six furlongs.

A grade II at 1 1/8 miles, the $150,000 Californian, which was taken by Game On Dude in 2012, will be run June 1.
The Vanity, which was captured by longshot Love Theway Youare a year ago, will be offered June 15, the richest of three stakes that afternoon. A grade I for older fillies and mares at 1 1/8 miles, the Vanity has a purse of $250,000. The other stakes on the Vanity card are for 2-year-olds at 5 1/2 furlongs - the $100,000 Willard L. Proctor and the $100,000 Cinderella, which is restricted to fillies.
The stakes schedule commences April 25 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.