Wednesday, January 28, 2009
SANTA ANITA RACES TO HAVE “BIG GAME” THEME SUNDAY
ARCADIA, Calif. (Jan. 28, 2009)—Although Sunday’s Gr. III, $100,000 La Habra Stakes for 3-year-old fillies figures to be the highlight of the day’s racing at Santa Anita, the Great Race Place will card a number of races themed to coincide with the Super Bowl Game in Tampa, Fla., and Santa Anita will also name Sunday’s second race in honor of 106-year-old Florence Tuckman, who will attend along with family and friends.
Tuckman, who was born in Philadelphia, Pa., in 1903, was a regular attendee, along with her late husband Leo, at Santa Anita in the late 1930s and ‘40s, according to her family. Although she still enjoys the races, Tuckman’s spare time is now primarily spent “playing cards or bingo on a daily basis” with her family and friends.
“To be honest, Big Game Sunday is traditionally a pretty slow day at the racetrack,” said Santa Anita Racing Secretary Rick Hammerle. “By naming these races as we have, we’re just trying to lighten things up and have some fun. We’ve had good response from the horsemen and hopefully the fans will get a kick out of it as well,” he added.
Sunday’s first race has been named “The Troy Polamalu Purse.” The Polamalu is for older horses at seven furlongs, with each horse entered for a $12,500 claiming price. The purse is $15,000.
The third race is “The Kurt Warner Purse,” for 3-year-old maidens bred in California at 6 ½ furlongs. The purse is $44,000.
Sunday’s fourth event has been named “The Ben Rothlisberger Purse,” which could result in some spirited Daily Double wagering from The Warner to The Rothlisberger. The Rothlisberger is for 3-year-old maidens at one mile and carries a purse of $46,000.
The fifth race is the fourth running of the $45,000 added “Super Bowl Party Starter Handicap,” for older horses at one mile on turf.
Sunday’s sixth race is “The Pittsburgh Steeler Purse” at 1 1/8 miles on turf. The race is a first condition allowance for older horses with a purse of $52,000.
Accordingly, “The Arizona Cardinals Purse” will follow the Steeler event and be carded as Sunday’s seventh race. The Cardinals Purse is a third condition allowance for older fillies and mares at six furlongs. The purse is $57,000.
The Gr. III La Habra Stakes will go as the eighth race and the ninth has been named “The Larry Fitzgerald Purse.”
“It’s important that fans try to ‘catch a winner’ in the last race and we thought this would be a great way to do it,” said Hammerle.
The Fitzgerald is for older maidens at one mile. Each horse runs for a claiming tag of $40,000. The purse is $21,000.
There will be a special early first post time on Sunday at Santa Anita is 11 a.m.
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