ARCADIA, Calif. (Sept. 3, 2008)—The Oak Tree Racing Association will kick off its 40th anniversary season by rewarding all fans who attend on-track with a beautiful Oak Tree Commemorative Stein on opening day, Sept. 24. This is the 22nd consecutive year the stein has been offered to fans, making it the longest running and most popular promotion in Oak Tree history.
The steins, free with paid admission, have become prized collector’s items and will feature the likeness of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella, who won an unprecedented four Breeders’ Cup races at Oak Tree in 2003. His four Breeders’ Cup champions, Halfbridled, Pleasantly Perfect, Johar and Action This Day, will also be depicted.
Originally cast as an integral part of Oak Tree’s opening day festivities, the steins have instead been given away on the first Saturday of the Oak Tree meet in recent years. “With the Breeders’ Cup coming and six grade one races on the first Saturday (Oct. 27), we felt it was important to kick the meet off with a bang and to give people added incentive to attend on opening day,” said Santa Anita Vice President in charge of marketing, Allen Gutterman. “This is a terrific item commemorating a once-in-a-lifetime achievement by one of the most popular trainers in the world and it connects our fans to some great tradition here at Oak Tree. We fully expect to be very busy on opening day.”
In addition to the commemorative stein, fans will also receive two coupons which will be redeemable for reduced admission on Saturday, Sept. 27. Those attending on opening day will also receive two coupons good for free admission on weekdays.
Oak Tree’s opening day card will be highlighted by the 40th running of the Gr. III, $100,000 Senator Ken Maddy Handicap, for fillies and mares at 6 ½ furlongs down Santa Anita’s storied hillside turf course. The race is named for the late California State Senator Ken Maddy, who was a long-time legislator and ardent supporter of Thoroughbred racing in California.
First post time on opening day is set for 1 p.m.