ARCADIA, Calif. (Dec. 11, 2008)—Spectacular Santa Anita Park is readying for its 72nd opening day on Friday, Dec. 26, and all fans in attendance will receive an opening day bonus package of four free passes with each paid admission.

All General Admission and Clubhouse attendees will receive two free passes to the Jan. 24 Sunshine Millions program and two additional free passes good any day throughout Santa Anita’s 84-day winter/spring meeting.

Dating back to Dec. 25, 1934, opening day at Santa Anita has been widely recognized as one of the great days in American sports. All fans attending this year will also receive Santa Anita’s highly coveted 2009 wall calendar, free with paid admission.

Fans will also have an opportunity to sign up for Santa Anita’s $10,000 Strub Series Handicapping Contest. The contest is free of charge and in order to play, fans must compete on opening day in order to qualify for the contest’s second round on Jan. 17. The third and final round will take place on Feb. 7.

Santa Anita’s traditional opening day feature, the Gr. I, $250,000 Malibu Stakes for 4-year-olds at seven furlongs, will highlight an outstanding card of world-class racing. The Gr. III, $100,000 Sir Beaufort Stakes for 3-year-olds at one mile on turf, and the $125,000 California Breeders’ Champion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies figure to also provide fans with good wagering opportunities.

The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will also be performing on opening day as they share center stage with some of the world’s finest Thoroughbreds.

First post time on opening day is 12 noon, and admission gates will open at 10 a.m. Santa Anita’s winter/spring meet will run through April 19. For additional information, go to