08/14/2008 11:00PM

Last Dance ends 74-year run


Who will make history when six 3-year-old fillies compete in the $50,000 Last Dance Stakes, which brings down the curtain on Bay Meadows after 74 years on Sunday?

The winner will be the final name added to a list that began with Rapid Bells, winner of the first race on the track's opening day, Nov. 3, 1934. She will be the final stakes winner at Bay Meadows among a group that includes Bonny Grafolo, who won the $1,500 Stockton Handicap on the track's opening day.

The Last Dance, at 1 1/16 miles on the turf, will conclude the 10-race card and racing at the historic venue. Bay Meadows Land Co., which owns the track, will tear down the facility in order to build an office and residential development.

Neil Drysdale, who sent 1992 Eclipse champion A.P. Indy to Bay Meadows as a 2-year-old, sends Sensational Love north seeking her first stakes victory.

She ran seventh in the Grade 2 San Clemente on the turf at Del Mar in her debut for Drysdale on July 26, and has the best last-race Beyer in the field. Although she has run in a pair of Grade 2 stakes and seems to hold a class advantage, Sensational Love is looking for her first stakes victory.

Joyful Me, coming off a victory in the six-furlong Fairfield Stakes at Solano, is the only stakes winner in the field and has three wins and a pair of seconds in five starts. This will be her first start on turf and first time around two turns.

Jerry Hollendorfer, who has won more training titles and races than any trainer at Bay Meadows, sends out the improving You Lift Me Up, a $32,000 claim on June 6 who will make her stakes debut.

She lost her first start for Hollendorfer by a nose before winning a $32,000 optional claimer at Santa Rosa on July 23. She has 2 wins and 2 seconds in 6 starts on the turf.

Hollendorfer admitted he would like to win Bay Meadows's final race.

"Bay Meadows has been good to me, and I've tried to be good to Bay Meadows," he said.

The Jeff Bonde-trained Tiz Madison, fourth to Joyful Me as the Fairfield favorite, will also be making her turf and two-turn debut.

Rounding out the field are My Maloof Rocker, second and third on the turf in Southern California in her last two starts, and Shake It Off, a maiden turf winner in her Northern California debut at Santa Rosa on July 25.

Fittingly, the day begins with the $15,000 San Mateo, a 440-yard Quarter Horse stakes.

Bay Meadows also has a rich history with Quarter Horses. Ed Burgart, perhaps America's top Quarter Horse race caller at Los Alamitos, will call the race. He got his start at Bay Meadows in 1979 and called the final Quarter Horse meeting here in 1991.