INGLEWOOD, Calif. (October 31, 2010)—Hollywood Park will begin its 30th Autumn Meet Thursday, Nov. 4 with a special night program. Post time is 7:05 p.m.
Following the eight race card, Steel Pulse will perform. The concert, which will begin around 10:30 p.m., will take place at the North Park Lawn.
Scheduled for 31 days through Dec. 19, the meet is highlighted by five Grade I events and the popular Autumn Turf Festival (Nov. 26-28).
Three of the Grade I events are on grass, including the return – after a one-year hiatus – of the $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup. Contested at 1 ½ miles, the Turf Cup will be run Nov. 13. The remaining pair are part of the Turf Festival – the $250,000 Matriarch Nov. 26 and the $250,000 Hollywood Derby Nov. 28.
Two-year-olds are spotlighted in the other Grade I’s – the $250,000 guaranteed Hollywood Starlet and the $750,000 CashCall Futurity.
Won a year ago by eventual Kentucky Oaks heroine Blind Luck, the Starlet is scheduled for Dec. 11.
The Futurity, which was captured in 2009 by Lookin At Lucky, who is currently considered the nation’s top 3-year-old, will be run Dec. 18.
Racing will be conducted four days a week (Thursday-Sunday) through November and expand to five days (Wednesday-Sunday) in December.
Post time will be 12:30 p.m. daily with some exceptions. Racing will begin at 11 a.m. Thanksgiving (Nov. 25), 12:15 pm Nov. 5, which is the first day of the Breeders’ Cup from Churchill Downs and 11:15 a.m. Nov. 6, the conclusion of the Breeders’ Cup, topped by Zenyatta’s quest to finish her career undefeated in 20 starts and win a second Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The first stakes race of the season is the $55,000 Riot in Paris. The one mile turf race will be run Friday and attracted a field of six.
The most accomplished member of the field – in terms of grass earnings – is Blue Chagall.
Trained by Julio Canani for Prestonwood Farms, the 5-year-old Testa Rosa gelding out of the Pitskelly mare Eloisey has banked $289,036 in his career with $285,056 of that figure coming on turf. He has won five of 24.
Muny, who returned after a layoff of more than 10 months to win a $50,000 claimer at the Riot in Paris distance Oct. 16, will be looking for his fourth victory in 10 starts. The Najran gelding out of the Farma Way mare Because I Can has banked $191,750. He is owned by a partnership that includes Phil Belmonte and Henry Cohen and is trained by Mike Mitchell. Muny won the 2008 Oak Tree Derby when in the barn of Mike Puype.
The field also includes Averoo, a 6-year-old English bred gelding making his U.S. debut for owner Hronis Racing LLC and trainer John Sadler, Classical Slew, Red Door Drive and Trumpet Player Jay.
Owned by Arnold Zetcher and trained by Bob Baffert, Red Door Drive, a 5-year-old Sky Mesa horse out of the Sandpit mare Sheza Nasty Lady, has won four of 23 and earned $163,315. Only one of his wins, however, has come on turf.
From inside out, the field for the Riot in Paris: Classical Slew, Alonso Quinonez rides, 114 pounds; Red Door Drive, Martin Pedroza, 119; Muny, Joe Talamo, 117; Blue Chagall, Corey Nakatani, 119; Averoo, Brice Blanc, 117 and Trumpet Player Jay, Antonio Castanon, 117.
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