With the Grade III, $250,000 San Francisco Mile leading the way, Golden Gate Fields has announced its inaugural Gold Rush Weekend on Saturday, April 27 and Sunday, April 28. The two-day racing festival will be comprised of eight stakes races and a wide variety of on-track events as Golden Gate Fields seeks to combine top class racing with Bay Area culture and entertainment, thus serving fans of all ages.
With increased purse money the order of the weekend, The San Francisco Mile, for three year olds and up on turf, will be run on April 27, as will the $100,000 California Derby, the $75,000 California Oaks, the $75,000 Lost in the Fog Stakes for older sprinters, the $75,000 Golden Poppy Stakes on grass for fillies and mares and the $75,000 Camilla Urso Stakes, also for fillies and mares.
These races will serve to comprise an All-Stakes Pick 6, Pick 5 and Pick 4 on April 27, along with the popular 14 percent low takeout Early Pick 5.
“We are looking at making Gold Rush Weekend a major hit on the list of events in the Bay Area in 2019,” said Golden Gate vice president and general manager David Duggan. “We're hoping to attract a lot of new people and of course, horses, for this two-day event. We're confident a number of horses from Southern California will be coming, as well as horses from the East Coast and perhaps England and Ireland.
“Golden Gate Fields and The Stronach Group are absolutely thrilled to be hosting the Gold Rush. We will have a number of things going on that will greatly enhance the on-track experience for everyone, from live music and dancing, to beer and wine tasting, food trucks and more. It's going to be an incredible weekend and we'll also have a number of local celebrities joining us, which helps us to spread the word.”
A pair of 3-year-old stakes for California-bred or sired horses will highlight the Sunday, April 27 card, as the $100,000 Campanile for fillies and the $100,000 Silky Sullivan for colts and geldings will both be contested at a mile on turf.
Golden Gate Fields will offer fans an “All Turf Pick 4” on April 28, with both the Campanile and Silky Sullivan included.
“(Gold Rush Weekend) will be great for the racing fans,” said Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. “I am happy to see increased purses in many of the stakes races. Over the past year, Golden Gate has increased purses in other races, too, and it's great for owners. I plan on running more horses at the upcoming Golden Gate meet.”
Current Bay Area training kingpin Jonathan Wong echoed Hollendorfer's sentiments.
“I'm really excited to see how the big weekend shakes out,” said Wong, who annexed his second Golden Gate training title this year by taking the Fall Meet crown this past Sunday. “Things are really on the improve here. The purses are going up and horsemen are seeing the front side staff trying really hard to make Golden Gate great, which gives us reasons to be excited for the future.
“Everyone wants to see Golden Gate succeed. Ever since David Duggan has taken over and (Announcer) Matt Dinerman and the new marketing team has been added, things have really been going in the right direction. It's an exciting time to be racing at Golden Gate Fields.”
Opening day for Golden Gate Fields' 2018-19 Winter/Spring Meet is Wednesday, Dec. 26. For additional information on opening day and Gold Rush weekend April 27 & 28, please visit goldengatefields.com or call (510) 559-7300.
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