The landmark 70th season of horse racing at the L.A. County Fair is chompiní at the bit, not to worry because the action begins Friday, Sept. 5. First post is 1 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and noon Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. There are 17 stakes races featured, and three stakes challenges for the quarter horses. Fairplex Parkís horse racing meet is presented by San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino. The meeting concludes on Monday, Sept. 22. Tuesdays are once again dark days. Track announcer Trevor Denman returns for his 21st season, injecting his distinctive and classy style to the meeting.
Changing things up a bit, the stakes races are scheduled for Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Sunday, Sept. 21 is Fairplex Park California Classics Day rolling out five stakes races in addition to leading jockey and trainer awards and giveaways. The racing meetís signature race, the Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap, is among Sundayís big five. The invitational is run for 3-year-olds and up at about one-mile and one-eighth, with a purse of $125,000. Joining in the Sunday card is Las Madrinas Stakes, a mile-and-one-sixteenth and a $100,000 guaranteed purse; Governorís Cup, six and one-half furlongs and a $65,000 guaranteed purse; Bangles and Beads Stakes, six and one-half furlongs, and a guaranteed purse of $65,000; Pomona Quarter Horse Championship at 400 yards for 3-year-olds and up with a $17,500 added purse.
The meeting opens Friday, Sept. 5, with 3-year-olds competing in the inaugural Jim Kostoff Stakes (formerly Derby Trial). The race is named in honor of Kostoff, a director emeritus since 2001, and formerly chairman of the board of the Los Angeles County Fair Association for an unprecedented 18 years. Saturday, Sept. 6, is the 28th running of the Phil D. Shepherd Stakes for 3-year-olds & up at a mile-and-one-sixteenth with a $65,000 guaranteed purse. The Bustles and Bows Stakes will also run on Sept. 6, for 2-year-old fillies.
E.B. Johnston and Foothill Stakes are both slated for Sunday, Sept. 7. Both have a $65,000 guaranteed purses, and go off in a mile-and-one-sixteenth and six and one-half furlongs, respectively.
Wednesdays present a pair of stakes races, the C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes, last run in 2001, now for 2-year-olds, Wednesday, Sept. 10, at six and one-half furlongs. Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2-year-old fillies run for the Black Swan Stakes title; Friday, Sept. 12, is the Pio Pico Stakes for fillies and mares bred in California at a distance of six and one-half furlongs.
Two-year-olds bought at Barretts Equine Ltd. are featured on the second weekend. The Barretts Debutante is Saturday, Sept. 13 followed by the Juvenile on Sunday, Sept. 14. Itís the 19th running for both races at six and one-half furlongs with estimated purses of $130,000. Gateway to Glory Stakes for 2-year-olds is Friday, Sept. 19 at a distance of one mile and one-sixteenth.
The Pomona Derby for 3-year-olds, guaranteed purse of $100,000 goes off Saturday, Sept. 20, along with the CTBA Marian Stakes with a $65,000 purse for the mile and one-sixteenth contest; Two additional quarter horse stakes are featured: Brotherly Claiming Stakes, Sunday, Sept. 14, 220 yards for 3-year-olds and up with a $10,000 guaranteed purse and Pomona Juvenile Championship, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 350-yards for 2-year-olds, $15,000 added.
Racing concludes Monday, Sept. 22. Admission to horse racing is free with Fair admission, reserved box seating is available. Dining, watching and wagering are available at The Veranda, Top of the Park and The Terrace. Stutesí Bar & Grille opened in 2007 with a fun sports-filled experience. For information or dining reservations, call (909) 865-4124.
Fairplex Parkís results and scratch line is (888) 338-RACE (7223). Results will also be posted on the Web site, www.lacountyfair.com, and shown each morning on TVG and any time of the day on CalRacing.com. The 86th anniversary of the L.A. County Fair is Friday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 28. The Fair is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.