Horse racing returns to the legendary L.A. County Fair come September.
The arrival of the annual L.A. County Fair signals the arrival of September and the 71st racing meet that goes hand-in-hand with the Fair. Racing dates for 2009, Sept. 10 - 28, dark Mondays Sept. 14, 21 and Tuesdays, feature 15 days of exciting racing action and 14 stakes races including two inaugural races. This is the L.A. County Fair, the largest county fair in North America and also the official stop for fun, food, friends and family, the one constant in times tough and times easy. Racing on the five-eighths mile track is on its mark so get ready to celebrate the arrival of September and exciting thoroughbred racing at Fairplex Park.
The racing season, presented by Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa opens Thursday, Sept. 10 with debuts of Beverly J. Lewis Stakes at six and one-half furlongs and Palomares Stakes, Friday, Sept. 25, with guaranteed purses of $50,000, both giving a nod to 3-year-old fillies. Also at six and one-half furlongs are Bangles & Beads, Sunday, Sept. 13; Barretts Debutante, Saturday, Sept. 19; Barretts Juvenile, Sunday, Sept. 20; and Governor’s Cup, Wednesday, Sept. 23. The Barretts races spotlights 2-year-olds purchased at one of the prestigious auctions held at Barretts Equine Limited.
Going off at seven furlongs are the Jim Kostoff Stakes, Friday, Sept. 11 for 3-year-olds; C.B. Afflerbaugh Stakes, Wednesday, Sept. 16; and Bustles & Bows Stakes, Friday, Sept. 18, both for 2-year-olds, with guaranteed purses of $50,000.
The duo slated Saturday, Sept. 12, at one mile and one sixteenth are Phil D. Shepherd Stakes and E.B. Johnston Stakes, $50,000 guaranteed, for 3-year-olds and upward.
Stakes scheduled later in the meeting are the signature Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap, $125,000 guaranteed at about a mile and one eighth for 3-year-olds and upward; Pomona Derby, Saturday, Sept. 26, $75,000 guaranteed; Las Madrinas Stakes, Saturday, Sept. 26, $75,000 guaranteed.
Since variety is the spice of life the program will showcase an import car show, Saturday, Sept. 12, and the return of the enormously popular Wiener Dog Races, Saturday, Sept. 19. For a big finish Fairplex Park will bring on the classic cars and classic rock Saturday, Sept. 26.
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 14 million visitors with a lifetime handle of $2,530,340,551. It has hosted celebrities and political figures and remains a favorite Fair. Fairplex Park consistently ranks among the top 10 percent of all tracks in North America in average daily handle.
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. Admission to horse racing is free with Fair admission, reserved box seating is available. Dining, watching and wagering are available at The Terrace, Top of the Park, Stutes’ Bar & Grille and Finish Line Sports Grill. Finish Line Sports Grill also presents satellite wagering, year-round and during the Fair.
Never seen a horse race? Fairplex Park wants the experience to be stellar for veterans and newcomers alike. Come on over to our house and experience the fun and exhilaration of live horse racing.
For more information visit Fairplex.com or better yet be here any racing day in September to part of the L.A. County Fair tradition.
The 2009 L.A. County Fair opens Labor Day weekend, Saturday, Sept. 5 to Monday, Sept. 7, and then Wednesday, Sept. 9 to Sunday, Oct. 4, closed Mondays and Tuesdays. Visit lacountyfair.com for attractions, promotions and entertainment information.
2009 Thoroughbred Stakes Schedule
Date Purse Event and Distance
Thurs., Sept. 10 $50,000 guaranteed Beverly J. Lewis Stakes
Fillies, 3-year-olds, 6–1/2 furlongs
Fri., Sept. 11 $50,000 guaranteed Jim Kostoff Stakes
3-year-olds, 7 furlongs
Sat., Sept. 12 $50,000 guaranteed Phil D. Shepherd Stakes
3-year-olds & up – 1 1/16 miles
Sat., Sept. 12