In addition to the races Thanksgiving weekend will feature a free sweatshirt give-a-way Saturday and a celebration of Hispanic food and music with Fiesta Sunday.
The Queen of the Green drew a field of 11 fillies and mares and the Walter Cluer attracted a full field of 12 colts and geldings. Both races will be run at one mile on the turf course.
Queen of the Green
The winner of this race the last two years, Hip Ninety Three, will be trying for the hat trick with regular rider Andrew Ramgeet aboard. However, this year’s Queen came up tougher than previous editions.
Cleverly Beverly, to be ridden by leading grass course ace Glenn Corbett, won a comeback prep for this race Oct. 23 at the stakes distance and surface. The 7-year-old mare has been either first (8 times) or second (6) in 20 starts over the local green.
Comet Sixty Two, with a leading bankroll of $217,388, has been facing tougher at Belmont Park and Del Mar. The 6-year-old mare is now in the hands of Dan McFarlane, the leading trainer with turf wins.
Brookys Star tired late to finish second in the recent Princess of Palms Stakes for trainer Sandi Gann. Gann, who made the switch from jockey to trainer, and is the only female rider to win Turf’s Leading Rider’s title in 1992, before suffering a career-ending injury.
Peppy Miler finished third in a Nov. 3rd comeback $40,000 optional claiming race. A confirmed closer, Peppy Miller stormed from dead last to win the Jan. 17th Glendale Handicap.
Tequila Mary shifted from turfing at Golden Gate to local trainer Debbie O’Brien barn. She finished fourth in her local debut Oct. 23rd. The 4-year-old filly is by the Irish miler Aragora.
Detail, who won a $35,000 claiming race last year at Saratoga, has won two mid-level claiming race locally at the mile distance in the turf.
Walter Cluer Memorial
Like the Queen, the Cluer is loaded with talent. And also a few question marks. Like who’s going to have the lead? Hobbits Hero, a seven-time turf winner at the distance? Power Corrupt, who showed he can lead or track the pace, given his recent allowance turf win? Success Rate, a sprinter stretching out? Leadem Ken, who took an allowance field wire to wire on the grass Oct, 22nd?
The complexion of the race is the handicapping challenge. If a speed horse gets loose on the lead and sets modest fractions, the outcome will be X. If multiple horses contest the lead, the outcome will be Y. The closers, like Thetrailguy, Don’t Hold Me Back and Lord Vancouver will be in play depending on whether the race is run to an X or Y scenario.
The Cluer, named after Turf’s founder, is highly competitive. But it’s like a treasure that will only yield its bounty if you have the right key.