A 138-day meet will run from opening day October 12 thru May 3, 2020. Racing will be conducted primarily on a 5-day a week basis, Saturday thru Wednesday with post time at 12:55 pm. Special live racing will also take place on three Fridays: November 1 (first day of Breeders’ Cup Championship) and November 29 (the day after Thanksgiving), and May 1 (Kentucky Oaks Day).
In addition to the Bienvenidos (Welcome Back) the first 5,000 fans will receive a free opening day T-shirt. There will be free multiple bounce inflatables for the kids and live music on the Grandstand apron. A special award will be presented to Bill Shaner, who has not missed an opening day since the track opened first opened for business in 1956.
A case can be made for each of the 12 entrants in the 6 ½ furlong Bienvenidos off their best running lines. The field is divided between those horse which summer campaigned at Canterbury Park or Emerald Downs and five shippers from Santa Anita.
Six-time and current leading trainer Robertino Diodoro, who has won this race four times, including last year’s edition, has entered three horses headed by the multiple stakes winner Oil Money and 7-year-old veteran Silver Ride who boasts a career bankroll of $343,346.
The horse mostly likely to curry favoritism is the Kevin Eikleberry-trained Fortified Effort, who has finished no worse than second, including four wins, in the last nine starts. The 4-year-old son of Ez Effort has won 11 of 24 efforts with seven of those win coming at Turf Paradise.