A total of 18 stakes races with purses of more than $3.8 million are scheduled for the 24-day season, which begins Thursday, Nov. 8 and continues through Sunday, Dec. 16.
Now sponsored by the Oak Tree Racing Association, the Native Diver Handicap, a Grade III for older horses at 1 1/8 miles over Cushion Track, has seen its purse rise to $250,000 in 2012 from $100,000 in 2011. The 34th Native Diver will be run Saturday, Dec. 1.
A Grade II for older fillies and mares at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track, the Bayakoa –also sponsored by the Oak Tree Racing Association - has been bumped from $150,000 to $200,000. The Bayakoa will be contested for the 31st time Saturday, Dec. 8.
A not-for-profit group of California owners and breeders, Oak Tree conducted fall meets annually from 1969-2010 with the most recent season held at Betfair Hollywood Park. The Oak Tree Racing Association has contributed well over $26 million to endeavors benefiting the racing industry and local communities.
The Grade I Futurity, in the sixth year of sponsorship by the consumer loans company founded by renowned horse owner-breeder J. Paul Reddam, who won the Kentucky Derby and Preakness earlier this year with I’ll Have Another, has produced six Kentucky Derby champions and winners of 15 Triple Crown races since its inaugural running in 1981.
The 32nd CashCall Futurity – for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track – will be part of a stakes doubleheader Saturday. Dec. 15. The $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup, a Grade II at 1 ½ miles, will also be offered.
Sharing the spotlight with the Futurity and Hollywood Starlet is the Turf Festival, which will be stagedfor the 19th time in 20 years over Thanksgiving weekend.
The three-day Festival consists of five graded races, including two Grade I events – the $250,000 Matriarch for fillies and mares at one mile and the $250,000 Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds at 1 ¼ miles. Both will be run Sunday, Nov. 25.
The $250,000 Citation, a Grade II at 1 1/16 miles, kicks off the Festival Friday, Nov. 23. The Saturday, Nov. 24 program will feature a pair of Grade III’s for 2-year-olds at one mile – the $100,000 Miesque – for fillies – and the $100,000 Generous.
Two additions to the calendar are the $200,000 Soviet Problem Stakes for 2-year-old fillies bred in California and the $200,000 King Glorious Stakes for California bred 2-year-olds.
The pair of seven furlong contests are part of the Golden State Series, a 27-race program for horses bred in the state. The Soviet Problem is scheduled for Sunday, Dec. 9 while the King Glorious is the closing day (Sunday, Dec. 16) feature.
The Autumn Meet stakes schedule, which includes 12 graded races, begins with the $100,000 Real Quiet Stakes Saturday, Nov. 10.
Named in honor of the winner of the 1997 Futurity as well as the 1998 Kentucky Derby and Preakness and 1999 Hollywood Gold Cup, the Real Quiet is for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles over Cushion Track.