INGLEWOOD, Calif. (Aug. 21, 2009) — The $750,000 CashCall Futurity, an annual stop for future Triple Crown contenders, will once again be the richest event on the stakes calendar for the 2009 Autumn Meet at Hollywood Park.
The Futurity, in the third year of sponsorship by the consumer loans company founded by prominent horse owner-breeder J. Paul Reddam, has produced six Kentucky Derby champions and the winners of 14 Triple Crown races since its inaugural running in 1981.
Pioneerof the Nile, winner of the 2008 Futurity, became the 11th graduate of the Grade I event to win the Santa Anita Derby, then finished second in the 2009 Kentucky Derby.
The CashCall Futurity will be run for the 29th time on Saturday, Dec. 19 — next-to-last day of the meeting. Fourteen stakes races with purses of $2.85 million have been scheduled at the 2009 meeting, which at 27 days is 13 days shorter than a year ago.
The Turf Festival will once again share the spotlight with the Futurity and $300,000 guaranteed Hollywood Starlet (GI). The Turf Festival, which will be staged for the 18th time in 19 years over Thanksgiving Weekend, will be reduced to five races with the loss of the Hollywood Turf Express (GIII).
It will continue to feature three Grade I events, although each has undergone a purse reduction to $300,000. The Hollywood Derby and The Matriarch have each been reduced by $200,000, while the Citation Handicap has been lowered by $100,000.
A change in the Turf Festival format has The Matriarch scheduled along with the $100,000 Generous Stakes (GIII) on Saturday, Nov. 28, while the Hollywood Derby and $100,000 Miesque Stakes (GIII) will be run on Sunday, Nov. 29. Previously the Derby and Matriarch were run on closing day of the Turf Festival.
The Turf Festival will begin on Friday, Nov. 27, with the 32nd running of the Citation Handicap.
Hollywood Park, in an effort to maintain its overnight purse schedule, also suspended the Hollywood Turf Cup (GI), Dahlia Handicap (GII), Real Quiet Stakes and Sharp Cat Stakes for the 2009 Autumn Meet.
“We will have the same overnight purse structure as Oak Tree,” said Martin Panza, vice president-racing. “This is a one-year suspension. Hopefully, with more days at future meets, we will bring some of these races back.
“Our goal was to protect the overnight schedule as everyone is feeling the pressure in the difficult times the country is experiencing.”
The Futurity and Starlet anchor closing weekend, with 2-year-old fillies competing in the latter on closing day — Sunday, Dec. 20.
“We are very happy to have CashCall remain on board as sponsor of the CashCall Futurity,” Panza said. “We have had tremendous response in the first two years with 23 starters and some major players in the 3-year-old division the following year.”
The Autumn Meet stakes schedule, which includes 11 graded races, begins the second day of the meeting with the $75,000-added On Trust Handicap on Saturday, Nov. 14.
View the Autumn Meet stakes schedule here
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