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Santa Anita, Del Mar weigh options for juvenile turfers

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

ARCADIA, Calif. – The addition of the $1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint to the roster of the two-day race series this fall may lead to changes in the stakes schedule and race plans at the Del Mar summer and Santa Anita autumn meetings.

Rick Hammerle and David Jerkens said they will review the stakes schedules for Santa Anita and Del Mar, respectively. Hammerle is Santa Anita’s vice president and director of racing, and Jerkens is Del Mar’s racing secretary. There are no immediate plans to add stakes for juvenile turf sprinters, they said, although they could increase the number of maiden races on turf for juveniles.

Both tracks have run well-supported one-mile turf stakes for 2-year-olds. Last September, the Del Mar Juvenile Turf drew 14 starters, with two horses relegated to the also-eligible list. The Del Mar Juvenile Fillies Turf had 14 starters, with one horse left out.

Last October, Santa Anita had 12 starters in the Surfer Girl Stakes for 2-year-old fillies, with two horses stuck on the also-eligible list. The Zuma Beach Stakes for 2-year-olds drew 10 starters, with two scratches.

Those races are preps for two Grade 1, $1 million Breeders’ Cup races – the Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Fillies Turf. This year, the one-mile races could produce a few starters for the Juvenile Turf Sprint.

The Breeders’ Cup will be run at Churchill Downs on Nov. 2-3.


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