Santa Anita Park announced Thursday the schedule for its 23-day autumn meet, which runs Sept. 27-Nov. 3 and features the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to take place Nov. 1 and 2.
In all, the meet will include 43 graded stakes, including 18 Grade 1 events.
For the first time, three graded stakes, two of them Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” qualifying events, will be carded on opening day.
In addition to the traditional meet opener, the $200,000 Eddie D. Stakes (G2), the $300,000 American Pharoah Stakes (G1) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles and the $300,000 Chandelier Stakes (G1) for 2-year-old fillies at the same distance will take place Sept. 27.
“We’re excited to get the meet started with these two outstanding Grade 1 races on opening day,” said Santa Anita vice president, racing and racing secretary Steve Lym. “It will get the ball rolling in a big way.
“In addition, the Eddie D. has been upgraded to a Grade 2 and we’ve also doubled the purse on it, so we’re expecting an outstanding field at five furlongs on turf, which will serve as prep for many horsemen who are hoping to run under the same conditions in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint on Nov. 2.
“The American Pharoah and the Chandelier are both traditional preps for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile and Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies and we’re confident both of these races will attract big, competitive fields that our fans across the country will enjoy playing.”
Lym also noted that while there will be no downhill turf sprints at 6 ½ furlongs, Santa Anita will for the first time, offer a limited number of 5 ½-furlong turf sprints, with the starting gate set on the main track.
The utilization of the downhill course will be revisited in advance of the 2019-20 winter meeting.
Santa Anita will present five stakes on opening weekend, Sept. 28 and 29.
Three of them, the $300,000 Rodeo Drive Stakes (G1) and the $300,000 Awesome Again Stakes (G1) on Sept. 28 and the $200,000 Zenyatta Stakes (G2) on Sept. 29 will serve as Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifiers.
Additionally, the $200,000 John Henry Turf Championship (G2) for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one quarter, and the $75,000 Unzip Me Stakes, for 3-year-old fillies at 5 ½ furlongs on turf, will also be run Sept. 28.
Santa Anita’s final 2019 Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” qualifier, the $300,000 Santa Anita Sprint Championship (G1) will be run Oct. 5.
In conjunction with the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, Santa Anita will again offer a pair of $200,000 stakes for horses bred or sired in California — the Golden State Juvenile and the Golden State Juvenile Fillies, both at seven furlongs Nov. 1.
Santa Anita’s complete 2019 Autumn Meet stakes schedule is now available at http://www.santaanita.com/stakes-schedule/.
For additional information, please call the Santa Anita Racing Office at (626) 574-6352.