01/23/2014 2:48PM

Golden State Series to feature 35 races, $5.3 million in purses


ARCADIA, Calif. – The yearlong Golden State Series of stakes races for California-breds begins its third year Saturday with a merged California Cup and Sunshine Millions program of five stakes at Santa Anita.

The decision to link the two events is one of the biggest changes to this year’s series, which has 35 races and $5.3 million in prize money.

For 2014, the series will go to Los Alamitos for the first time with three stakes – the newly created $100,000 Bertrando Stakes for 3-year-olds over a mile in July and the King Glorious and Soviet Problem stakes in December, two $200,000, seven-furlong races for 2-year-olds. The King Glorious and Soviet Problem were run at Hollywood Park, which has closed.

Other stakes in the series that were previously run at Hollywood Park have been moved to Santa Anita and Del Mar. In April, Santa Anita will host the stakes formerly run as the California Gold Rush program at Hollywood Park. In November, Del Mar will run the Cat’s Cradle and On Trust stakes for older sprinters.

Saturday’s California Cup/Sunshine Millions program has five stakes for California-breds.

The California Cup was run in October or November from 1990 to 2012. The event was not held in 2013. The Sunshine Millions was run as a day of stakes featuring California-breds and Florida-breds at Santa Anita and Gulfstream Park from 2003-11.

[California Cup Day: Get PPs, watch Saturday's card live]

Saturday’s program was well-supported with fields of 11, 14, 10, 14, and 11 in the statebred stakes.

“It’s the highest fields we’ve seen for the event in years,” said Doug Burge, executive director of the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.