02/18/2005 12:00AM

Gold Cup a handicap again

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The $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup will revert to a handicap this year for the first time since 1996, Hollywood Park announced on Friday.

The track released the stakes schedule for its 2005 spring-summer meeting, to run from April 22 to July 17.

The Grade 1 Gold Cup, to be run on July 9, was changed from a weight-for-age race to a handicap to make it more competitive with other handicap races around the country, according to Hollywood Park racing secretary Martin Panza.

As a weight-for-age race, the Gold Cup was losing starters because horsemen were leaving the circuit to avoid facing a top horse, Panza said. By shifting the race to a handicap, he is hoping horsemen will find the conditions more favorable.

"I just know that when it was weight-for-age there was no leverage for us," Panza said.

The richest stakes day of the meeting is July 3: five stakes, including the $750,000 American Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/4 miles on turf.

The July 3 card also includes the $200,000 Royal Heroine Stakes and $250,000 American Handicap, which have had their purses increased by $100,000 each; the $350,000 Triple Bend Handicap, which has been increased by $50,000; and the $300,000 Vanity Handicap.

The first major race of the meeting is the California Gold Rush program on April 24.

2005 spring/summer stakes schedule

DATEEVENTCONDITIONSDISTANCEPURSE
Fri.,April 22HARRY HENSON STAKES3YO5 1/2 furlongs (T)$75,000
Sat.,April 23WILSHIRE HCP. (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 mile (T)100,000
Sun.,April 24CAL NATIONAL SNOW CHIEF STAKES3YO*1 1/8 miles250,000
Sun.,April 24MELAIR STAKES3YO F*1 1/16 miles 200,000
Sun.,April 24KHALED STAKES4YO & Up*1 1/8 miles (T)150,000
Sun.,April 24FRANS VALENTINE STAKESF&M, 4YO & Up*1 1/16 miles (T)150,000
Sun.,April 24B. THOUGHTFUL STAKESF&M, 4YO & Up*7 furlongs150,000
Sun.,April 24TIZNOW STAKES4YO & Up*7 1/2 furlongs150,000
Sun.,April 24BARRETTS STAKES3YO & Up*7 furlongs70,000
Sun.,April 24WARRENS THOROUGHBREDS STAKESF&M, 3YO & Up*7 furlongs70,000
Sun.,April 24PEPPER OAKS FARM STAKESC&G, 3YO & Up*6 1/2 furlongs 60,000
Sun.,April 24MAIDEN STAKESF&M, 3YO & Up*6 1/2 furlongs60,000
Sat.,April 30INGLEWOOD HCP. (G3)3YO & Up 1/16 miles (T)100,000
Sun.,May 1RAILBIRD STAKES (G3)3YO F7 furlongs100,000
Sat.,May 7HAWTHORNE HCP. (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles100,000
Sun.,May 8SENORITA STAKES (G3)3YO F1 mile (T)100,000
Sat.,May 14JIM MURRAY MEMORIAL HCP. (G3)3YO & Up 1 1/2 miles (T)350,000
Sat.,May 14LOS ANGELES TIMES HCP. (G3) 3YO & Up 6 furlongs150,000
Sat.,May 14MERVYN LEROY HCP. (G2)3YO & Up1 1/16 miles150,000
Sun.,May 15NURSERY STAKES2YO F 5 furlongs75,000
Sat.,May 21LAZARO S. BARRERA MEM. STKS (G2)3YO7 furlongs150,000
Sun.,May 22WILLARD L. PROCTOR MEM. STAKES2YO5 furlongs75,000
Sat.,May 28WILL ROGERS STAKES (G3)3YO1 mile (T)100,000
Sun.,May 29MANHATTAN BEACH STAKES3YO F5 1/2 furlongs (T)75,000
Mon.,May 30SHOEMAKER B.C. MILE (G1)3YO & Up1 mile (T)350,000
Mon.,May 30THE GAMELY B.C. HCP. (G1) F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/8 miles (T) 350,000
Sat.,June 4MILADY B.C. HCP. (G2)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles200,000
Sat.,June 4CINDERELLA STAKES2YO F5 1/2 furlongs75,000
Sun.,June 5HONEYMOON B.C. HCP. (G2)3YO F1 1/8 miles (T)175,000
Sun.,June 5DESERT STORMER HCP. (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,June 11CHAS. WHITTINGHAM MEM. HCP. (G1)3YO & Up1 1/4 miles (T) 350,000
Sat.,June 11THE ACK ACK HCP.3YO & Up7 1/2 furlongs75,000
Sun.,June 12HOLLYWOOD B.C. OAKS (G2)3YO F1 1/16 miles 175,000
Sat.,June 18THE CALIFORNIAN (G2)3YO & Up1 1/8 miles250,000
Sat.,June 18AFFIRMED HCP. (G3)3YO1 1/16 miles100,000
Sat.,June 18QUICKEN TREE STAKES4YO & Up*1 1/2 miles (T)75,000
Sun.,June 19HAGGIN STAKES2YO5 1/2 furlongs75,000
Sat.,June 25BEVERLY HILLS HCP. (G2)F&M, 3YO & Up1 1/4 miles (T)200,000
Sun.,June 26CINEMA B.C. HCP. (G3)3YO1 1/8 miles (T)150,000
Sat.,July 2LANDALUCE STAKES 2YO F6 furlongs100,000
Sun.,July 3AMERICAN OAKS (G1)3YO F**1 1/4 miles (T)750,000
Sun.,July 3VANITY HCP. (G1)F&M, 3YO & Up**1 1/8 miles300,000
Sun.,July 3ROYAL HEROINE STAKES (G3)F&M, 3YO & Up**1 mile (T)200,000
Sun.,July 3AMERICAN HCP. (G2)3YO & Up**1 1/8 miles (T)250,000
Sun.,July 3TRIPLE BEND HCP. (G1) 3YO & Up**7 furlongs350,000
Mon.,July 4FLAWLESSLY STAKES3YO F1 mile (T)100,000
Sat.,July 9HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP (G1)3YO & Up 1 1/4 miles750,000
Sat.,July 9A GLEAM INVITATIONAL HCP. (G2)F&M, 3YO & Up**7 furlongs150,000
Sat.,July 9SWAPS BREEDERS' CUP STAKES (G2)3YO1 1/8 miles400,000
Sun.,July 10ROBERT K. KERLAN MEM. HCP.3YO & Up5 1/2 furlongs (T)75,000
Sat.,July 16HOLLYWOOD JUV. CHMPSHP (G3)2YO6 furlongs100,000
Sat.,July 16VALKYR STAKESF&M, 3YO & Up*6 furlongs75,000
Sun.,July 17SUNSET B.C. HCP. (G2)3YO & Up1 1/2 miles (T)150,000

*California-bred; **Invitational