The air quality concerns related to the Bobcat Fire in California delayed the start of the Santa Anita autumn meet. But opening weekend — now held Sept. 25-27 — is a big one at “The Great Race Place.” A total of 12 stakes, 11 of them graded, make up a huge weekend of racing that includes seven Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” Challenge Series race qualifiers on Saturday and Sunday.
“Our local community has been deeply impacted by the Bobcat Fire burning for more than a week in the mountains behind us,” said Aidan Butler, executive director of California operations for the Stronach Group, which owns Santa Anita Park. “As excited as we are to welcome back live racing, we are first and foremost committed to safety. This is the responsible decision to make at this time so people can plan accordingly.”
Santa Anita Park’s autumn meet runs Friday, Sept. 25, through Sunday, Oct. 25, and includes 24 stakes races. The track will remain closed to the public for the fall racing season. Friday’s opening day features two graded stakes, with the Chillingworth (Grade 3) and Eddie D (Grade 2) on the turf. First post is at 12:30 p.m. PT.
Santa Anita Autumn Meet: Biggest Saturday Stakes
Seven Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series races will highlight the Saturday and Sunday cards on Sept. 26-27.
- Grade 1, $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes at 1 1/8 miles — entry to the $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
- Grade 1, $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes at 1 1/16 miles — entry to the $2 million TVG BC Juvenile.
- Grade 2, $200,000 Chandelier Stakes at 1 1/16 miles — entry to the $2 million BC Juvenile Fillies.
- Grade 1, $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes at 1 1/4 miles — entry to the $2 million BC Filly & Mare Turf.
- $100,000 Speakeasy Stakes at 5 1/2 furlongs — entry to the $1 million BC Juvenile Turf Sprint.
- Grade 2, $200,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship at 6 furlongs — entry to the $2 million BC Sprint.
- Grade 2, $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes at 1 1/16 miles — entry to the $2 million BC Distaff.
The American Pharoah Stakes is for 2-year-olds and provides a potential glimpse at 2021 Kentucky Derby hopefuls.