Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, will feature free Grandstand admission. Saturday Turf Paradise-styled sweatshirts will be given away to the first 4,000 fans. And Sunday re-welcomes the first $1 Day of the season, offering $1 Grandstand admission, Racing Programs, Hot Dogs, Sodas, popcorn and ice cream.
Both the Queen of the Green, for fillies and mares and the Walter Cluer, for 3-year-olds and up, will be run at one mile on the grass course
Queen of the Green
A field of eight fillies and mares will line up in the Queen of the Green. In what has come up as a highly competitive race, a case can be made for each of the entrants off their best performance.
Starting with the Dan McFarlane-trained Maker Or Breaker, who is a perfect two-for-two locally in dirt stakes, having won the Princess of Palms and Phoenix Stakes. The 5-year-old mare will be making her first start on grass. Being by Empire Maker by Unbridled, Maker Or Breaker should have no problems with the switch to a new surface.
Rock and Glory, runner up to Maker Or Breaker, breaks from the one post, which suits her front-running style. The 6-year-old mare will also be making her turf debut. Rock and Glory’s breeding – Rock Hard Ten (Kris S.) – suggests she’ll relish the lawn.
Ricspretentiousgal, winner of two of three local grass efforts, including the Glendale Handicap, and who like Rock and Glory is trained by Robertino Diodoro, returned to the races Oct. 19 with an Optional Claiming grass victory. An additional bonus: Leading trainer Diodoro teams up with leading rider Geovanni Franco.
Walter Cluer Memorial
Among the ten entered for the Walter Cluer, all eyes will be on the Diordoro-trained, multiple stakes winner Broadway Empire. Victorious in the Canadian and Oklahoma Derbies (G3) and sixth in the prestigious Metropolitan Mile (G1) after commadering the lead, Broadway Empire returns to Turf following a 9 ½ length romp in an Optional Claiming race April 12. An earner of over a half-million dollars. Broadway Empire will be making his grass debut.
A worthy challenger is the Ardell Sayler-trained Balooga Bull, a multiple stakes winner in Canada, who has won 16 of 21 lifetime efforts by taking his competition wire-to-wire.