Pomona, CA- August 23, 2012- Fairplex Park begins its 74th season on Sept. 7 and will run through Sept. 23. The quickly approaching meeting coincides with the arrival of the L.A. County Fair Aug. 31-Sept. 30 and brings 13 days of live thoroughbred horse racing, featuring 12 stakes races and $750,000 in purses.
The race meet has been a long-standing tradition for the L.A. County Fair, the largest county fair in North America and Southern California’s official stop for fun, food, friends and family. Admission to horse racing at Fairplex Park is free with Fair admission. Finish Line Sports Grill at Gate 12 on White Avenue is an alternative site for those wishing to watch and wager on satellite wagering year-round or during the Fair’s meet.
The racing season opens Friday, Sept. 7 with the Beverly J. Lewis Stakes at six and one-half furlongs with a guaranteed purse of $50,000. Barretts graduates will be spotlighted Saturday, Sept. 15 for the Barretts Debutante and Sunday, Sept. 16, the Barretts Juvenile both at six and one-half furlongs with $100,000 guaranteed purses.
Stakes also running at six and one-half furlongs include Jim Kostoff Stakes, Sunday, Sept. 9; Governor’s Cup, Wednesday, Sept. 19; and Bangles and Beads Stakes, Friday, Sept. 21. The C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes is a seven-furlong contest Wednesday, Sept. 12 for 2-year-olds; also at seven furlongs, the Phil D. Shepherd Stakes, for 2-year-old fillies, Friday, Sept. 14; and scheduled for a mile and one sixteenth, Saturday, Sept. 8, E.B. Johnston Stakes for Cal Breds, 3-year-olds and upward; Las Madrinas Handicap and Pomona Derby, Saturday, Sept. 22; and the meet’s signature race, the $100,000 guaranteed Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap at a mile and one eighth is closing day, Sunday, Sept. 23.
Special programming is part of the Fairplex Park experience including the popular Wiener Dog Races, Saturday, Sept. 8; Bingo Bash Wednesdays; Fridays Budweiser Beer Jockey; Barretts Weekend of Stars, Sept. 15-16; and California Classics Day Car Show, Sept. 22. New in 2012, Friday Finale features the last race of the day and each Sunday the Bud Light Carne Asada Cook Off will be at Fairplex Park with a perfect trifecta of beer, grilling and friends.
The L.A. County Fair racing meet is steeped in history, most notably as the first track in Southern California to offer pari-mutuel wagering when it was legalized in California back in 1933. The track went to five-eighths mile from its famous half-mile oval in 1985 and was renamed Fairplex Park in 1986. The historic grandstand has hosted nearly 15 million visitors with a lifetime handle of $2,751,218,587.
Fairplex Park established a Hall of Fame in 2003 and to date has inducted such racing luminaries as Mel Stute, Francisco Mena, Ted West and Jerry Fanning.
Dining is available at The Terrace, Top of the Park, Stute’s Bar & Grille, Longboard Grill and Tiki Lounge, and Finish Line Sports Grill.
First post Thursday to Sunday is 1 p.m. Twilight racing, introduced in 2011, proved so popular it returns with a first post of 4 p.m. Wednesdays. Fairplex Park is dark Mondays and Tuesdays. Visit lacountyfair.com for horse racing, attractions, promotions and concert information including a Season Pass available at participating Walgreens for just $24.99, good every day of the Fair.
2012 Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule
Event and Distance
Fri., Sept. 7 $50,000 guaranteed Beverly J. Lewis Stakes
Fillies, 3-year-olds, 6–1/2 furlongs
Sat., Sept. 8 $50,000 guaranteed E.B. Johnston Stakes
Cal Bred fillies & mares, 3-year-olds & up
1 1/16 miles
Sun., Sept. 9 $50,000 guaranteed Jim Kostoff Stakes
3-year-olds, 6-1/2 furlongs
Wed., Sept. 12
$50,000 guaranteed C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes
Fri., Sept. 14 $50,000 guaranteed Phil D. Shepherd
Sat., Sept. 15 $100,000 guaranteed Barretts Debutante
Fillies, 2-year-olds, 6-1/2 furlongs
Sun., Sept. 16 $100,000 guaranteed Barretts Juvenile
2-year-olds, 6-1/2 furlongs
Wed., Sept. 19 $50,000 guaranteed Governor’s Cup
3-year-olds & up, 6-1/2 furlongs
Fri., Sept. 21 $50,000 guaranteed Bangles & Beads
Fillies & Mares, 3-year-olds & up, 6-1/2 furlongs
Sat., Sept. 22 $50,000 guaranteed Las Madrinas
Fillies & Mares, 3-year-olds & up, 1 1/16 miles
Sat., Sept. 22 $50,000 guaranteed
3-year-olds, 1-1/16 miles
Sun., Sept. 23 $100,000 guaranteed
Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap
3-year-olds & up
abt 1 1/8 miles
Schedules subject to change.