09/02/2010 1:51PM

Oak Tree stakes schedule has familiar look


The venue is different, but the stakes schedule for the Oak Tree meeting at Hollywood Park this fall is similar to past years, when the meet was held at Santa Anita.

The Oak Tree at Hollywood Park meeting, from Sept. 30 through Oct. 31, will be run at Hollywood Park for the first time. It will be highlighted by seven Grade 1 stakes which are Southern California’s leading preps for the Breeders’ Cup races at Churchill Downs on Nov. 5-6. The Breeders’ Cup was part of the Oak Tree at Santa Anita meeting in 2008 and 2009.

This year’s Oak Tree meeting was moved from Santa Anita because of concern from horsemen over the condition of that track’s synthetic surface.

There are 24 stakes on the Oak Tree at Hollywood Park schedule, including the California Cup program on Oct. 30. Hollywood Park will conduct its own annual fall meeting beginning on Nov. 4.

Because of differences in the turf courses at Santa Anita and Hollywood, the distances of three stakes for turf sprinters have been changed from about 6 1/2 furlongs at Santa Anita to six furlongs at Hollywood Park.

Six of the seven Grade 1 races are concentrated on Oct. 2-3, with four of them on Oct. 2. The program includes the $250,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes for fillies and mares, which is expected to draw unbeaten two-time champion Zenyatta, who won the 2009 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita.