08/05/2004 11:00PM

Meet to feature eight BC preps


The five-week Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting, from Sept. 28 to Oct. 31, will include 28 stakes, including the 10-race California Cup on Oct. 16 and eight prep races for the Oct. 30 Breeders' Cup at Lone Star Park.

The preps for the Breeders' Cup dominate the first two weekends of the meeting, with six scheduled for Oct. 2-3 and two for Oct. 9-10.

The purses of five of those races have been altered. The Oak Leaf Stakes, Oak Tree Breeders' Cup Mile, and Norfolk Stakes have been cut by $50,000 from 2003. The Oak Tree Mile will be worth $250,000, while the other two races are worth $200,000.

Two races have been increased by $50,000 to $250,000 - the Lady's Secret Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Ancient Title Breeders' Cup Handicap.

The Ancient Title is one of three Grade 1 races at the meeting, along with the Yellow Ribbon Stakes for females and the Clement Hirsch Turf Championship.

Two other stakes purses have been cut - the Carleton Burke Handicap has been reduced $25,000, to $100,000, while the Las Palmas Handicap has been cut $50,000, to $150,000.

The Las Palmas, canceled last year because of a purse cut, is the closing-day feature on Oct. 31.

The California Cup program has been moved to mid-October from its traditional date in early November. The move is designed to give the event more attention before the Breeders' Cup.