Live racing will return to Santa Anita Park the day after Christmas. The 17-week winter/spring season runs through April 21.
Track spokesman Greg Ball says the meeting will feature many promising 3-year-old horses on the trail to the Kentucky Derby, among other Triple Crown races.
Last year, I'll Have Another jump-started his 3-year-old season by clinching Santa Anita's Robert B. Lewis Stakes. He went on to win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, but a serious tendon injury prompted trainer Doug O'Neill to scratch him from the Belmont Stakes, shattering the horse's Triple Crown dreams.
Track officials say they plan to pull out all the stops this meeting to boost business and lure more people to the races.
“This season, we’re focusing our efforts on the areas that have proved to be effective,” Santa Anita President George Haines said. “We have increased our television advertising plan, which will concentrate primarily on local cable outlets in Santa Anita’s target market. We are also renewing our exposure through the billboard advertising that had a very positive response last year.”
The track will also host several promotions throughout the meeting, including a free wall calendar for all Opening Day attendees and free admission every Thursday for active military personnel and seniors age 62 and up. On New Year's Eve day, the track will sell $2 beers, hot dogs and sodas; meanwhile, Turf Club members will get complimentary stainless steel coffee mugs.
If You Go:
- First post time on Opening Day is noon.
- There will be no live racing Dec. 27.
- First post time is 12:30 p.m. on Dec. 28, Dec. 29, Dec. 30, Dec. 31, Jan. 1, Jan. 5 and Jan. 6. First post time is 1 p.m. on Jan. 4.
- Beginning Jan. 10, Santa Anita will run on a Thursday-Sunday schedule, with first post time at 1 p.m. on weekdays, and 12:30 p.m. on weekends.