11/21/2013 9:21PM

Santa Anita Derby purse boosted to $1 million, track to run split season


INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Santa Anita’s upcoming sixth-month season will be divided into two meetings and the track will raise the purse of the Santa Anita Derby to $1 million, officials said during a California Horse Racing Board meeting on Thursday at Betfair Hollywood Park. Santa Anita also will offer fewer daily doubles but with a lower takeout, and Friday evening racing from late April to late June.

Thursday, the board approved Santa Anita’s license application from Dec. 26 through April 20, the track’s traditional dates for its winter-spring meeting. Santa Anita will race from April 25 through June 29, but the application for those days will not be addressed until February. The license for the December through April dates was contingent upon the completion of agreements with California’s horsemen’s groups, the Thoroughbred Owners of California and the California Thoroughbred Trainers.

At Thursday’s racing board meeting, track officials said the purse of the Santa Anita Derby on April 5 will be raised from $750,000 to $1 million. The Santa Anita Derby was worth $1 million in 1996 and 2000.

Track officials told the racing board that the Santa Anita Oaks will be worth a record $400,000, but the date of the race has not been announced. The track has yet to release its full stakes schedule, but is expected to do so in coming days, having reached the required agreement with the TOC.

A stakes schedule for the late April through June meeting will be announced later, pending conversations with Del Mar and Los Alamitos to develop a revamped Southern California stakes schedule following the scheduled closure of Betfair Hollywood Park in December.

Santa Anita will no longer offer rolling daily doubles each day, but will have three daily doubles – on the first two races, the fourth and fifth races, and the final two races. Beginning on opening day, Dec. 26, the daily doubles will have a takeout of 18 percent, down from the current 22.68 percent.

In addition, Santa Anita, which co-owns the HRTV racing network, has reached an agreement with TVG for all California Thoroughbred signals to be shown on both television networks through the year, according to Santa Anita vice-president Scott Daruty. The agreement reflects a change from past years when some signals, notably Del Mar’s, were not available on HRTV.

Santa Anita will run mostly four days a week during the meet, Thursdays through Sundays. There will be racing on Wednesday, Jan. 1, and no racing on the the Thursday and Friday of Easter week, April 17-18. There will be racing that Saturday and Sunday, April 19-20. From late April to late June, Friday racing will begin at 3 p.m., according to marketing director Nate Newby.

◗ Hollywood Park officials told the racing board that part of the casino adjacent to the racetrack is being remodeled to include an 18,000-square-foot simulcast facility. Hollywood Park’s current autumn meeting ends on Dec. 22, the last day of live racing in track history. The grandstand will be closed permanently after the meeting, and is scheduled to be developed for residential and commercial uses.

◗ After a lengthy discussion, the racing board approved one-year license applications for the account-wagering providers Bet America, TVG, Twinspires, Watch and Wager, and XpressBet. TVG, Twinspires and XpressBet offer account-wagering services on California Thoroughbred racing to California residents. Bet America and Watch and Wager are seeking inroads into the market.

Joe Morris of the TOC said that his organization will decide whether to support a wider market for account-wagering providers in California by the end of the year.

Approval of the account-wagering licenses was nearly postponed until the racing board’s December meeting because of an ongoing dispute between Twinspires and Xpressbet. Brad Blackwell of Twinspires said the issued is centered on the behind-the-scenes distribution of revenue from handle generated at Florida tracks, a point that Daruty, representing Xpressbet, disputed.

The issue was not resolved at Thursday’s meeting.

Tom Smith More than 1 year ago
as long as Stronach owns SA it is going to suck
Jack More than 1 year ago
The 3 Stooges, would do a BETTER Job of running Race Tracks in Calif than the Current "Ship of Fools"...
J Vette More than 1 year ago
Please don't insult the 3 Stooges, they are way, way smarter than the idiots who run S.A.
Richard More than 1 year ago
with the bunch that are making these decision's at Santa Anita are about as bad and dumb as the bunch in Washington, soon it will all be gone...
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
Not the strongest Lukas fan here but his Colt got the shaft in weights for the Clark.
Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
You have to love that after Game On Dude was assigned 126, Baffert said, "they've weighted him like he's horse of the year." Ohhhh what a horrible impost. Laugh out loud funny.
chad mc rory More than 1 year ago
You're gonna get the politicking from all of 'em but it's the year end, right? I can remember Jolley screaming about 128 or 129 on Honest Pleasure but that was in the Spring... he withdrew the Colt. If the 3yo picks up a pound, the older horse picks up three. 129/123 would be right fair for both horses.
Robert Danna More than 1 year ago
Rolling Daily Doubles are a waste of time.. Been going to the races since I was 10 at Hollywood park and Santa Anita. In those days only the first two races were offered as a DAILY DOUBLE and in most cases some really GOOD payouts. Today with Exactas, Q's, PICK 3, PICK fours, PICK5 and Pick 6 not to leave out the SUPER HIGH FIVE and PICK ALL Place betting WOW!.. It almost seems like an overkill.. To be Honest, I think maybe a Daily Double in the 1st and Second races and in the last two; with a PICK 5, 1 dollar exactas and a SUPER SUPERFECTA in the first race and last race would be more like it.. Betting to WIN PLACE AND SHOW, is not easy, but that's what it's all about you against the other guy.. Bring back the old days and the REAL BETTORS..
Kenneth Porteous More than 1 year ago
Robert, when you go to the all-you-can-eat buffet, do you taste EVERY item offered? Some people like to bet on doubles, some like to bet to show.
J Vette More than 1 year ago
Don't you know that 90% of the time you get more than 25% more than a parlay, thus betting the juice.
David Robinson More than 1 year ago
simple people make simple bets. 80% of winning at the track is out gambling the other players, not out handicapping them. if you don't know how to bet or get value for your money, you will never win. no matter how well you handicap. the harder the bet, the more of a separation there is between the smart player and the simple over matched player. that's why old school players think the new exotics offered are overkill or unnecessary...... because they are overmatched or don't have the bankroll to compete with the real players. except for an occasional win bet at overlayed odds on a horse you like, betting straight and paying a 20% takeout on every race is for suckers. and if you are really betting to show............. well I have no comment. lolol.
J Vette More than 1 year ago
S.A. = Simply Assinine
Chas Glazer More than 1 year ago
Leave it to Stronach and Santa Anita to get what they finally want: More race dates and then screw it up....Nuce going....How do you cut the take out rate of a popular bet and then turn around and kill it - the Rolling Daily Double? If cutting the take out rate sounds like a great thing, how does that make up for cutting the handle? '3' Doubles compare to '7' or '8' on everyday...Can you say CHEAP...Less betting options reduce handle! But, also reduces the cut in take out that Santa Anita is going to give up to the customer....Look at the Pick 5 and the low take out...The bet is popluar and the handle is very strong...Players and track win....Can't wait to see how Stronach/Santa Anita mess up their 'Spring/Summer meet' in regards to race days; stake races from Hollywood Park and of course betting options....
Kenneth Porteous More than 1 year ago
To many hardcore bettors, Santa Anita is just another track. So while I can't bet the Double on races 2 and 3, I might be betting on Turf Paradises' rolling doubles . . . Think . . .
Paul F More than 1 year ago
so in the course of a year in California what till the racing schedule look like?..next year 2014
J Vette More than 1 year ago
No rolling DD, how about bringing back the PARLAY BET CARD??? The BEST betting opportunity for your everyday player....will increase handle on win, place, & show bets, plus give us BETTORS the opportunity to make ROUND ROBBINS..... GET WITH IT....NOT EVERYONE WANTS P-4,5, & 6's....I KNOW, lets just make racing a LOTTORY PLAY, that's what the SUITS seem to want....no more handicapping, no more wins bets, just pick a ton of numbers.....
Kram Hslew More than 1 year ago
no more rolling doubles? why? why take something away when the technology is there? typical santa anita bs. they wouldn't have done it if Hollywood was still viable.