A 144-day meet will run from October 18 thru May 5. Racing will be conducted on a five-day a week basis, primarily Saturday thru Wednesday with post time at 12:55 pm.
Opening day’s special guest will be Hall of Fame trainer Jack Van Berg. Van Berg, who trained Alysheba to victory in the 1987 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes and who ranks fifth all-time among trainers with over 5,200 victories, will be promoting and signing his new book, “From Grit to Glory.”
Last meet’s leading trainer, Diodoro, and Lund, who finished ninth in the standings and was the leading female trainer, went head-to-head in stakes competition all meet long. Diodoro got the best of the match-ups, but Lund won a few that her arch rival anticipated winning – like the $75,000 Phoenix Gold Cup when Diodoro ‘s LA Weekend lost to Lund’s Absolutely Cool .
While Diodoro will send forth two entrants, Lund will saddle three hopefuls, including her multiple stakes winner Absolutely Cool, who won this race last year.
The first of Lund’s three-horses is You Funny Man, breaking from the rail in the 6 ½ furlong Bienvenidos’ eight-horse field. A confirmed closer, You Funny Man is a winner of six of 21 starts for $213,633 in earnings.
At My Discretion, a 3-year-old, is next, who has shown a tendency to run on the lead, as he did when winning his maiden victory at Turf in February of this year.
And from the outside post, Absolutely Cool, who has finished in the money at Turf in 16 of 18 starts.
Diodoro has two rising new starts in the recent claimed Bull Dozer, with over $478,000 in his bankroll and the lightly raced 4-year-old Storm Power.
Completing the field are: Western Twist. Midnight Officer and Brady Blue Eyes.