The Oak Tree meet, with millions of dollars in graded stakes up for grabs, produced the winners of three Breeders' Cup races last year: Tiznow, who won the Goodwood Handicap and the Breeders' Cup Classic; Kona Gold, winner of the Ancient Title Handicap and Breeders' Cup Sprint; and War Chant, who took the Oak Tree Mile and the Breeders' Cup Mile.Oak Tree leases Santa Anita Park, which is owned by Magna Entertainment Corp.,for its fall meet. Because of construction planned for the Arcadia facility, it will not host the 2002 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, though it has been penciled in for 2003 under a recently released list of probably host sites.
The Oak Tree Racing Association meet at Santa Anita Park, which has produced 21 winners of Breeders' Cup events, kicks off Wednesday afternoon with a fund-raising effort for the Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund. Oak Tree will match all donated funds up to $100,000.The Oak Tree meet, which includes the state-bred Cal Cup program Nov. 3, will feature racing Wednesdays through Sundays, along with Monday, Oct. 8, and Monday, Nov. 5, which is closing day. Post time is set for 12:30 p.m. Pacific time. "Oak Tree felt it appropriate that we share in the American sports effort to help the victims and the families of this great tragedy," Oak Tree executive vice president Sherwood Chillingworth said of the opening-day relief effort. Jockeys, media personalities, and members of the Arcadia, Calif., Fire Department will participate in a tribute that will open the session.