Hollywood Park will pay a record $9.5 million in stakes purses during its spring/summer meet that begins April 24. The Southern California racetrack has restructured its stakes schedule to create five big days offering multiple graded stakes.
The $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I) has been moved back two weeks to July 14 to create better timing with the Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I), which will be run June 15 at Churchill Downs. The Gold Cup will be packaged with the $500,000 Swaps Stakes (gr. II) and the $200,000 A Gleam Handicap (gr. II).
"This give us a chance of attracting horses we've missed because of the close proximity of races in past years," said Hollywood Park racing secretary Martin Panza.
Hollywood Park's spring/summer meet will run 65 days and feature seven grade I races, 10 grade II races, and 13 grade IIIs.
On July 6, the racetrack will run the inaugural $500,000 American Oaks Stakes, a 1 1/4-mile turf race for 3-year-old fillies. The new stakes race will be run along with $300,000 Triple Bend Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) and the $100,000 Royal Heroine Stakes (gr. II). Leading up to the American Oaks will be the $100,000 Senorita Stakes (gr. III) at a mile on the turf May 4 and the $200,000 Honeymoon Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at 1 1/8 miles on the grass June 8.
"There is no other race like the American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies in North America," Panza said. "It gives 3-year-old fillies a chance to stay in their own age group and run a classic distance before meeting older fillies and mare in the Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf."
The newly named Cal Fed California Gold Rush Day, now bearing the name of the countrys second largest savings and loan based in San Francisco, will feature six races for California-breds worth $1.05 million. The major race on the third annual Gold Rush Day will be the $250,000 Cal Fed Snow Chief Stakes for 3-year-olds.
Hollywood Park's other big weekend will be Memorial Day, May 27, which will be the only day featuring two grade I races. The weekend will include the $500,000 Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. I) and the $500,000 Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. I), a race 1 1/8 miles that will offer twice the purse as last year. Memorial Day also will feature the $150,000 Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial (gr. II).