09/21/2006 12:00AM

Woodlands opens 31-day mixed meet

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The Woodlands in Kansas City, Kan., the dual-purpose facility that hosts both year-round Greyhound racing and a Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse mixed meet, begins its 31-day horse racing season Saturday. The meet will continue through Nov. 4, Breeders' Cup Day.

Racing is conducted on a Saturday-through-Wednesday basis with post time at 12:30 p.m. Central through Oct. 28. For the final five days of the meet, post time will be noon. The 10-race cards will generally feature seven Thoroughbred and three Quarter Horse races.

The Thoroughbred stakes schedule is highlighted by several $20,000 races, including the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe for older sprinters on Oct. 14 and the Miss Kansas City Stakes the following day.

Tim Gleason, who dominated the trainer standings a year ago with 24 wins from 63 mounts, is set to defend his title. He will be joined by trainers Kenneth Gleason, Troy Bethke, and Jim McCoy.

Alex Birzer, winner of last year's riding title by a 35-win margin, led the standings at the Prairie Meadows mixed meet and is back in defense of his title. He is joined in the colony by R.D. Williams, Jon Pabon Jr., Stormy Smith, Armando Martinez, and Beth Butler.

Saturday's opening-day card features four Quarter Horse trials for the $40,000-added Kansas Futurity and two trials for the $25,000-added Kansas Derby, with both finals to be run Oct. 7. The four Thoroughbred races are highlighted by a $9,000 open allowance for fillies and mares in which Hayley Go Blue will seek her sixth win of the year.