Retama Park Prepares to Open Two-Month Meet

The Texas Thoroughbred racing scene shifts to Retama Park July 23 when the San Antonio-area track opens for a meet that extends through Sept. 25.

The meet will feature 14 Thoroughbred stakes. Among the highlights are the $100,000 Ketel One El Joven Stakes for 2-year-olds at a mile on the turf, and the $100,000 La Senorita Stakes for 2-year-old fillies at a mile on the turf, both set for Sept. 4; and two $100,000 Texas Stallion Stakes, one for 2-year-old males and the other for 2-year-old fillies, and the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes for Texas-breds at 1 1/16 miles on the grass, all on Sept. 18.

Racing will be held Thursdays through Sundays until Aug. 29. First post time is 6:45 p.m. CDT Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, and 5:30 p.m. Sundays. Beginning Sept. 1, racing will be held Wednesdays through Saturdays at 6:45 p.m.

Opening night will feature a "Fifty-Cent Friday" promotion. Retama officials elected to open with the promotion and have been on a mission to hire staff and employees.

"We worked day and night to hire and train folks to accommodate the expected crowds this season," general manager Bob Pollock said in a release. "Our Kentucky Derby and Preakness and Belmont Stakes days were the biggest in our history, and that happened with no live racing going on.

"We are anticipating a big weekend. Fan interest is definitely there."

The opening-night feature is the $40,000 J.R. Straus Memorial Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at six furlongs.