06/05/2005 11:00PM

Stakes schedule loaded with turf races


Turf is the focus of the Retama Park stakes schedule for 2005, with 10 of the meet's 16 scheduled stakes to be run on the grass. The most prestigious are two $100,000 turf routes for 2-year-olds, the Ketel One El Joven and the M2 Technology La Senorita.

Retama, located near San Antonio, will open for a 43-night Thoroughbred meet on Aug. 5, and run through Oct. 15.

The El Joven, for colts and geldings, and the La Senorita, for fillies, will both be run on Sept. 3. Both races are at one mile on turf, and combined they help make for the second-richest night of racing at Retama.

The richest night will be Oct. 1, when six restricted stakes worth a total of $470,000 will be run on the annual Texas Hall of Fame Day card. Of the stakes, four will be held on turf, the richest among them the $100,000 Texas Hall of Fame, a 1 1/16-mile race for 3-year-olds and up who were bred in Texas.

Other turf routes during the meet include the $50,000 Margarita Breeders' Cup for fillies and mares Aug. 6 and the $50,000 Retama Turf Breeders' Cup for 3-year-olds and up Aug. 13. Retama has also brought back two turf stakes for 2005, the $40,000 Jim Bowie for 3-year-olds at 7 1/2 furlongs Aug. 27, and the $40,000 No Le Hace for 3-year-olds and upward at 7 1/2 furlongs Oct. 15.

Purses for the upcoming meet have been increased $4,000 a day over last year, up to a daily average of $94,000. Purses are up mainly because of an increase in handle on incoming simulcasts, said Bryan Brown, Retama's chief executive officer.

2005 Retama Park stakes schedule

Fri.,Aug. 5J.R. Straus Memorial 3YO & up6 furlongs$40,000
Sat.,Aug. 6Margarita Breeders' CupF&M, 3YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T) 50,000
Sat.,Aug. 13Retama Turf Breeders' Cup3YO & Up1 1/16 miles (T) 50,000
Sat.,Aug. 20Lakeway Stakes3YO F6 furlongs40,000
Sat.,Aug. 27Jim Bowie Stakes3YO7 1/2 furlongs (T)40,000
Sat.,Sept. 3Ketel One El Joven Stakes2YO c&g1 mile (T)100,000
Sat.,Sept. 3M2 Technology La Senorita Stakes2YO F1 mile (T)100,000
Sat.,Sept. 10Chick Lang Jr. Memorial3YO & Up1 mile40,000
Sat.,Sept. 17New Braunfels StakesF&M, 3YO & Up6 furlongs40,000
Sat.,Oct. 1Texas Stallion Stakes2YO c&g6 furlongs125,000
Sat.,Oct. 1Texas Stallion Stakes2YO F6 furlongs125,000
Sat.,Oct. 1Fiesta MileF&M, 3YO & Up* 1 mile (T)40,000
Sat.,Oct. 1Selma Stakes3YO F* 5 furlongs (T)40,000
Sat.,Oct. 1Red McCombs Stakes3YO c&g* 5 furlongs (T)40,000
Sat.,Oct. 1Texas Horse Racing Hall of Fame3YO & Up* 1 1/16 miles (T) 100,000
Sat.,Oct. 15No Le Hace Stakes3YO & Up7 1/2 furlongs (T)40,000

* Texas-breds