12/13/2012 4:54PM

Hialeah: Quarter Horse meet opens with trials for rich stakes


Hialeah Park launches its fourth season of Quarter Horse racing on Saturday with trials for two of its richest races of the meet.

Saturday’s eight-race card, which begins at 2 p.m. Eastern, will feature four trials apiece for the $100,000 Hialeah Derby, a 440-yard race for 3-year-olds, and the $100,000 Hialeah Lassie Futurity, a 400-yard race for 2-year-old fillies. Both finals, along with the $100,000 Hialeah Laddie Futurity for colts and geldings, will be part of the South Florida Quarter Horse Festival on Dec. 30.

The 36-day meet will feature live racing Friday through Sunday until Feb. 17. A total of 24 stakes are scheduled, most worth $20,000. In addition to the three stakes on Dec. 30, the other $100,000 race is the South Florida Quarter Horse Derby for 3-year-olds going 440 yards on closing day.

Hialeah plans to open a casino with 870 slot machines and 21 poker tables during the summer of 2013. The track first opened in 1925, but has not held any Thoroughbred races since 2001.