04/26/2006 12:00AM

Retama Park track report


Turf is the theme of the Retama Park stakes schedule for Thoroughbreds, with 10 of the 15 races to be run on the grass. The stakes for the upcoming season, which begins Aug. 11, will be worth a cumulative $1 million.

The $100,000 El Joven Stakes for 2-year-olds and the $100,000 M2 Technology for 2-year-old fillies will both be run over one mile on turf Sept. 2. They are the richest open-company races on the calendar at Retama, which is located near San Antonio.

The first stakes of the meet will be the Retama Park Breeders' Cup Handicap for 3-year-olds and upward at 1 1/16 miles on turf Aug. 12. The purse for the race, as well as for the Margarita BC for fillies and mares on turf Aug. 19, has been increased to $65,000. Last year, the races were each worth $50,000.

The $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame Stakes for Texas-breds at 1 1/16 miles on turf will again anchor the annual Texas Hall of Fame Night program Oct. 14. Six restricted stakes will be decided, and with cumulative purses of $470,000 the program will be the richest of the meet at Retama.

Retama opens its Quarter Horse meet on Friday. There will be a daytime post for the first time at the track, when the first race goes off at 1:30 p.m. Central on Sundays. Post time for Fridays and Saturdays during the meet will remain 6:45 p.m., with the exception of the Triple Crown dates, when first post is 5:30 p.m.

There are two Grade 1 races for Quarter Horses during the meet, the $50,000-added Retama Park Derby on June 17, and the $75,000-added Retama Park Futurity on June 18. The Retama meet continues through June 18.