Golden Gate Fields' inaugural Gold Rush Weekend got off to a tremendous start on Saturday, as all sources pari-mutuel handle totaled $8.1 million, one of the biggest handle marks in Golden Gate Fields history. Wagering on Golden Gate races totaled $7.3 million, also one of the track's all time biggest money-bet figures.
Yesterday's exceptional handle was in large-part due to an infusion of equine and human talent from Southern California and the $7.3 million which was bet on Golden Gate races easily exceeded the $2.7 million which was bet a year ago on San Francisco Mile Day and was also higher than the $2.6 million bet on the corresponding date a year ago this month. Yesterday's all important on-track handle of $609,478 was up nearly 50 percent over the $406,653 wagered a year ago.
“We are ecstatic with how things went on Saturday,” said Golden Gate Fields Vice President and General Manager, David Duggan. “This was a day to celebrate horse racing in California and at Golden Gate Fields. We are extremely appreciative of all the shippers who sent horses here for our Saturday races and the many horsemen also traveling here for the day. A special thanks goes out to all of the horseplayers, fans, horsemen, our equine athletes and the dedicated, hard-working staff here at Golden Gate.
“They were paramount in making this day as successful as it was. Our staff worked tirelessly to make this a successful day of racing and we are extremely lucky to have many loyal fans watching and wagering, not just in the U.S., but all over the world.”
The marquee race on Saturday's program, the Grade III, $250,000 San Francisco Mile, which was won by Santa Anita-based Blitzkrieg, who is owned by R3 Racing, LLC, Calara Farms and Steve Rothblum. Ridden by Rafael Bejarano, Blitzkrieg is trained by Doug O'Neill.
The Mile handled $1,063,477 and The Stronach Group's Tim Ritvo was on hand to present the trophy to the winning connections.
“Our goal was to make Gold Rush Weekend a staple on the Golden Gate Fields racing calendar and a day that fans would concentrate on,” said TSG Vice President of Racing, P.J. Campo. “It was a massive success and with that said, we are obviously extremely pleased with how the inaugural Gold Rush Weekend started on Saturday. The Stronach Group is very excited about Gold Rush Weekend moving forward and we will only look to improve our product.”
With a pair of $100,000 stakes for California-bred or sired horses, the Campanile and Silky Sullivan, headlining Sunday's 12-race program, first post time is at 12:45 p.m. PT.
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2020 Paulick Report.