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The $750,000 CashCall Futurity and the 18th Turf Festival highlight the $4.5-million stakes calendar at Hollywood Park's 40-day Autumn Meet, which opens Wednesday, Oct. 29.
The CashCall Futurity, which has served as a springboard for six Kentucky Derby winners in 27 years, will be run on Saturday, Dec. 20. The purse for the Grade I event was boosted to $750,000 in 2007 with the sponsorship of CashCall, the consumer loans company founded by prominent owner J. Paul Reddam.
A talented field of 12 competed in the 2007 CashCall Futurity, generating total handle of $18.8 million - the highest at an Autumn Meet other than Breeders' Cup in 1997 and when the Breeders' Cup simulcast fell on the opening weekend of the 2006 meet. Into Mischief scored a 1 1/4-length victory for owner B. Wayne Hughes, but was sidelined early in his 3-year-old campaign. Colonel John, the runner-up, added to Futurity lore by winning the 2008 Santa Anita Derby and Travers Stakes at Saratoga.
"The sponsorship of CashCall moved the race to another level," said Martin Panza, vice president of racing. "The richer purse helped draw several outstanding horses from across the country. The Futurity field was a major factor in producing one of the most successful days in track history."
Giacomo, second to champion Declan's Moon in the 2004 Futurity, became the sixth graduate to win the Kentucky Derby in 2005. He followed Gato Del Sol (1982), Ferdinand (1986), Alysheba (1987), Thunder Gulch (1995) and Real Quiet 1998). The Hollywood Park Autumn Meet is known for world-class turf racing, offering the nation's finest late-season grass racing annually during the Turf Festival.
The three-day, $1.75-million event consists of six graded stakes races, including a trio of Grade I events. The Grade I, $400,000 Citation Handicap will be carded along with the $100,000 Miesque Stakes (GIII) on Friday, Nov. 28. The $150,000 Hollywood Turf Express and the $100,000 Generous Stakes - both Grade III races - share top billing on Saturday, Nov. 29. The Turf Festival finishes in dynamic fashion on Sunday, Nov. 30, with a pair of $500,000, Grade I races - the Hollywood Derby and The Matriarch.
Top class turf racing is not restricted to the Turf Festival. The Grade I, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup will be run for the 27th time on Saturday, Dec. 6, while the Grade II, $150,000 Dahlia Handicap will be run on Sunday, Dec. 21. Trainer Todd Pletcher shipped Sunriver west to win the 2007 Turf Cup for owners Aaron and Marie Jones.
The Autumn Meet program for 2-year-olds consists of eight stakes races. Besides the CashCall Futurity, the most prominent is the Grade I, $250,000 guaranteed Hollywood Starlet on Sunday, Dec. 13. The purse is estimated at $425,000. Country Star cruised to a 2 3/4-length victory in Cushion Track record time of 1:40.54 in 2007 for Stonerside Stable.
The 2-year-old program begins opening weekend with the fourth running of the $100,000-added Sharp Cat Stakes for fillies on Saturday, Nov. 1. The $100,000-added Real Quiet Stakes will be run on Saturday, Nov. 8; the $100,000-added Moccasin Stakes for fillies on Sunday, Nov. 16, and the Grade III, $100,000-added Hollywood Prevue on Saturday, Nov. 23.
The Autumn Meet stakes schedule includes 25 races - 13 on Cushion Track and 12 on turf. There are six Grade I races, two Grade II races and six Grade III races. First race on the calendar is the $65,000-added Dance In the Mood Stakes on opening day. The meeting concludes with the Dahlia on Dec. 21.
View the complete stakes schedule for Hollywood Park's 2008 Autumn Meet.
Trio Of Concerts Set For Autumn Meet Beginning Second Week
Super Diamond, The English Beat and Berlin are booked to perform following the three Friday night racing programs at Hollywood Park's 40-day Autumn Meet.
The concerts will take place in the Ascot Terrace at the south end of the clubhouse following the races. Super Diamond will appear Nov. 7, Berlin on Nov. 14 and The English Beat on Nov. 21.
Concerts are free with paid clubhouse admission of $10 prior to the seventh race. Following the seventh race, admission to the concert is $20.
In keeping with tradition, Hollywood Park will serve $1 draft beer (until 9 p.m.) and also offer $1 hot dogs and $1 sodas throughout the night.
The 2008 Autumn Meet opens Wednesday, Oct. 29. There will be no Friday night racing opening week, as a matinee program will be run on Oct. 31 at 12:30 p.m.
Make your reservations now to treat the entire family to a holiday feast in the legendary Turf Club and enjoy a tempting array of gourmet selections from the lavish Thanksgiving Chef's Table Buffet.
Space must be reserved by pre-payment of only $44* for adults, $23 for children ages 4 through 12, and free for children 3 and under. Price includes Turf Club Admission, a program and valet parking. Call Turf Club Reservations at 310.419.1601.
There is a dress code for the Turf Club. It is the responsibility of the person making the reservation to inform all their guests of the policy, as guests cannot be admitted without proper attire.
Levy Restaurants is proud to be the official caterer for Hollywood Park.