01/23/2006 1:00AM

San Francisco BC Mile bumped to $400,000


ALBANY, Calif. - An innovative spring schedule of eight stakes races, each with a minimum purse of $100,000 for a total of $1.25 million, has been released by Golden Gate Fields racing secretary Sean Greely.

Highlighting the schedule is the Grade 2, $400,000 San Francisco Breeders' Cup Mile on April 29. The $400,000 purse, which includes $100,000 from Breeders' Cup funds, equals the highest stakes purse ever offered in northern California and more than doubles last year's $150,000 purse. From 1990-92, the Golden Gate Handicap's purse was $400,000.

"We have one Grade 2 race in northern California," Greely said. "The San Francisco Mile was always a signature race, and we felt it was important to establish it as our signature race and continue to make it something special."

It is among the richest one-mile turf races in the country. Positioned on the calendar about midway between the $300,000 Kilroe Mile at Santa Anita on March 4 and the $350,000 Shoemaker Mile at Hollywood Park, which is typically run in late May, it should attract a strong field, Greely said.

Three Grade 3 races - the All American on Feb. 20, Golden Gate Fields Handicap on March 25, and Yerba Buena Breeders Cup Handicap on May 7 - will have $150,000 purses. The California Breeders' Cup Oaks on Feb. 11, California Derby on March 11, Work the Crowd Handicap on April 1, and Golden Gate Fields Sprint on April 22 will offer $100,000 purses.

Greely also will schedule $40,000 overnight handicaps, partly to serve as preps for the major stakes.

2006 stakes schedule

Sat. Feb. 11California BC Oaks1 1/16 miles3 YO Fillies $100,000
Mon., Feb. 20All American (G3)1 1/8 miles4 YO & Up150,000
Sat., March 11California Derby1 1/16 miles3 YO100,000
Sat., March 25Golden Gate Fields Hcp1 1/8 miles (turf) 4 YO & Up150,000
Sat., April 1Work The Crowd Hcp1 1/16 miles (turf) 4 YO & Up F&M*100,000
Sat., April 22Golden Gate Fields Sprint6 furlongs4 YO & Up100,000
Sat., April 29San Francisco BC Mile (G2) 1 mile (turf)4 YO & Up400,000
Sat., May 7Yerba Buena BC Hcp (G3)1 1/8 miles (turf)4 YO & Up F&M 150,000

* California-breds