There will be plenty to do following Thanksgiving’s traditional turkey fest with triple promotions and double stakes this three-day holiday weekend at Turf Paradise.
Friday kicks off the weekend with special live racing, free Grandstand admission and $2 domestic draft beer.
Saturday is the annual free sweatshirt give-a-way to the first 3,000 fans, Kids Fun Park and $3 domestic aluminum bottle beer.
Sunday is Fiesta Day, showcasing Mexican food and live music.
Saturday also features twin stakes races, the $35,000 Queen of the Green (3rd race), for 3-year-olds and up, fillies and mares the $35,000 Walter Cluer Stakes (7th race), for 3-year-olds and up. Both races will be run at one mile on the turf. Post time will be 12:40 pm.
Queen of the Green: Field of 8
Trainer Valorie Lund will be looking to duplicate last season’s Queen of the Green success with Lady Rosberg with the 6-year-old mare Enlightened or the 4-year-old filly Who’s for Glory.
Enlightened, who’s coming off an optional claiming victory at one mile (turf) on November 3, brings a stellar local grass course resume of 14-4-3-2. Seven times in her career the daughter of Larry the Legend has won at the eight furlong distance on the turf. The question with the highly competitive mare is, can she translate her form into stakes competition?
Who’s for Glory is asked the same question: Can the up and coming 4-year-old translate mid-level claiming and allowance success into a stakes win?
Favortism will probably fall to southern California shipper Our Pure Creation. The 5-year-old mare sports the largest bankroll - $261,898 – and the resume to go with it. She has been facing much tougher in Cal Bred stakes competition, including winning the $100,000 Cal Distaff Handicap October 4. Our Pure Creation’s double bullet workouts here locally on Oct. 23 and 31, signal her readiness for trainer Val Brinkerhoff and Scott Stevens.
Others signed up for the Queen of the Green are: My Blue Sky, winner of the Chandler Stakes Nov. 7, Peach Time, multiple Canadian stakes winner Aware, and Boise-based stakes winner speedster Sogn.
Walter Cluer Memorial: Field of 11
Named in honor of Turf Paradise’s founder, the Walter Cluer has attracted not only a large field but a talented one.
Heading the all-star cast is the Dan McFarlane double entry of Az Ridge and Red Zeus.
Veteran Az Ridge, who boasts a record of 42-14-9-9 and career earnings of $459,126, is a multiple stakes winner locally and who finished fourth in this race last year. Az Ridge comes off a gallant but losing effort in the Kentucky Turf Cup (G3) Sept. 14
Stablemate Red Zeus also brings an enviable record – 43-10-10-7 – and $323,645 in earnings, to a race in which he finished third last season.
The 3-year-old Ride Hard Kowboy is a perfect 4-for-4 over the local lawn, including a runaway 4 ¾ length victory in the Jeff & Jack Coady Stakes Nov. 7.
Robertino Diodoro, who won this race last season with Storm Power, has entered Empire Knight, a multiple-track winner with victories at Gulfstream Park, Churchill Downs and Canterbury Park.
Shipping in from southern California is the Craig Dollase-trained Rock Me Baby, a 6-year-old son of Rock Hard Ten with earnings of $494,457 to lead all entrants. The Cal bred’s most recent win came in Golden Gate’s Albany Stakes June 13, followed by a second place finish in Del Mar’s California Dreaming Stakes July 26.