The L.A. County Fair and horse racing have complemented each other since 1922 when harness racing was the bill of fare. Now, it’s a 16-day meeting with Thoroughbreds, quarter horses, mules and 17 stakes races with purses totaling more than $1.1 million. There is $4 million in prize money overall. Racing dates are Sept. 9-26. This is the first time that there will be a break in the racing action when the track is closed on Tuesdays only and the final day of racing will be on a Monday, instead of the traditional Sunday closing.
Taking the meeting’s star billing is the 27th Ralph M. Hinds Pomona Invitational Handicap which goes off on Sunday, Sept. 25, with a $100,000 guaranteed purse for 3-year-olds and up.
The Pomona Derby on Saturday, Sept. 24 (3-year-olds, 1-1/8 miles), and the Las Madrinas Handicap on Friday, Sept. 23 (fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up, 1-1/16 miles) each offer guaranteed purses of $100,000.
Two 6-½ furlong events for 2-year-olds carry estimated purses of $110,000. The Barretts Debutante for fillies is set for Saturday, Sept. 17, followed by the Barretts Juvenile on Sunday, Sept. 18. Both are for 2-year-olds sold at the Barretts Equine Sales Complex at Fairplex.
The Phil D. Shepherd Stakes on Saturday, Sept. 10, at 1-1/16 miles is a $60,000 guaranteed stakes race. The Foothill Stakes has opening day honors and the Bustles and Bows Stakes is slated for Thursday, Sept. 15. Both races are 6-1/2 furlongs with guaranteed purses of $60,000. The Shepherd and Johnston are 1-1/16-mile tests for 3-year-olds and up, while the Foothill will go at 6-½ furlongs. The Johnston is targeted toward fillies and mares.
The remaining 10 stakes races will carry guaranteed purses of $60,000. First post will be at 1 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and noon Fridays through Sundays. Fair gates open at 11 a.m. weekdays and at 10 a.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Entry to the Fairplex Park Budweiser Grandstand and clubhouse is included with the price of admission to the Fair. Box seats are $3. On Mondays since the Fair is closed admission to racing is free along with free racing programs.
The L.A. County Fair is Sept. 9-Oct. 2, closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Visit the Web site at www.lacountyfair.com for more information.