Fall Breeders' Cup Meeting for Thoroughbreds Begins 19-Date Run Friday Night at Lone Star Park

The most anticipated Thoroughbred meeting since Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie first opened for business seven years ago is nearly here. The 19-date Fall Breeders' Cup Meeting for Thoroughbreds - culminating with horse racing's foremost international event, the 21st Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships - will kickoff Friday night, October 1, with plenty of fanfare, a special appearance by Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day, and the first of four $100,000 stakes events to be run opening weekend.

A plethora of activities is planned throughout October, all geared toward the October 30 Breeders' Cup - the sport's traveling year-end championship that will visit the Southwest for the first time. At the end of the month, a hundred of the world's top Thoroughbreds and their high-profile connections will converge on the Dallas Fort Worth area to compete in eight divisional championship races. With $14 million in prizes and awards up for grabs, it's the single richest day in North American sports.

This is the first time that Thoroughbred racing will be staged at Lone Star Park in the fall. The traditional American Quarter Horse dates were moved to Sam Houston Race Park this year so Lone Star Park could have a five-week build up to the Breeders' Cup. And it couldn't come at a better time of year in North Texas as, historically, temperatures gravitate to the low 70s - a far cry from the warm weather experienced during the traditional April-July Spring Thoroughbred Season.

In addition to the Breeders' Cup, the Fall Breeders' Cup Meeting will showcase some of Lone Star Park's most popular events. Breeders' Cup week, for instance, will include the International Jockey Championship on Thursday, October 28 (nine jockeys in a unique three-race series vying for points and $220,000 in prize and purse money), while the Grade III, $250,000 Walmac Lone Star Derby headlines an action-packed stakes tripleheader on Friday, October 29. Plus, Lone Star Park will stage another Dollar Day (featuring $1 admission, parking, programs, hot dogs, popcorn, soft drinks and beer) on Saturday, October 9, and Stars of Texas Day (10 races, including four stakes events, exclusively for Texas-bred horses) will be held one week before the Breeders' Cup on Saturday, October 23.

Once horses spring from the starting gate on Friday night, live Thoroughbred racing will take place every Thursday through Sunday in October. The first live race on weeknights will be 6:35 p.m. CT through October 22. All weekend racing, as well as the October 28 and October 29 programs on Breeders' Cup week, will start at 1:35 p.m. CT. The lone exception is Breeders' Cup Day, which begins early at 11:40 a.m. to accommodate a live five-hour broadcast on NBC Sports from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. CT.


In order to host the monumental Breeders' Cup before an already sold-out crowd of 51,034, Lone Star Park has undergone an extreme makeover. More than $8.5 million worth of improvements, including the placement of 39,000 temporary seats that will stretch around most of the facility, is nearly complete. There are new barns, apron box seats and a 10,000 square-foot addition to the second floor Grandstand called Champions. The winner's circle and saddling paddock were widened and paved with rubberized brick and more than $250,000 was spent on new landscaping.

The most eye-catching change is a striking bronze statue of Texas-owned 1988 Horse of the Year Alysheba. The 1,000-pound, 1 ¼-scale bronze by renowned equine artist Lisa Perry sits inside the newly landscaped valet parking circle near the East Gate entrance (to be unveiled Wednesday).

Also, the City of Grand Prairie and the Texas Department of Transportation recently completed an expansion of Belt Line Road, the main thoroughfare into and out of Lone Star Park. The area of the roadway near Lone Star Park, to be christened "The Grand Prairie Entertainment District," was widened from four lanes to six.

In the Grandstand, bettors will be able to use new simplified wagering machines, pending Texas Racing Commission approval. Called "The Horse Wizard," the 31 machines on the first floor will offer a simple wagering menu for a live or simulcast race every three to five minutes, complete with the audio and visual fanfare of an arcade game or slot machine.


On the racetrack, the quality of horses competing this season should be at its best. More than $18.7 million in purses will be offered at the meeting, or $239,000 daily when you subtract out the $14.4 million up for grabs on Breeders' Cup Day alone. Twenty-six stakes races are scheduled, including four on opening weekend that could offer a "Breeders' Cup Preview."

It's only natural that the winners of the two one-mile 2-year-old stakes - Friday's $100,000 Silver Spur Breeders' Cup for fillies and Sunday's $100,000 Middleground Breeders' Cup Stakes for colts and geldings - show up in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies and $1.5 million Bessemer Trust Breeders' Cup Juvenile, respectively, since the big event is in their own backyard.

The same could be said for the winner of Sunday's $100,000 Yellow Rose Breeders' Cup Stakes, a 1 1/8-mile turf test that could produce a starter for the $1 million Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf.

Meanwhile, Saturday's $100,000 Alysheba Breeders' Cup Stakes is the final chance for a 3-year-old to sprint six furlongs against his/her own age group before facing older foes in the $1 million Breeders' Cup Sprint.


Grandstand gates on opening night will open at 5 p.m. Pat Day, the only jockey to compete in all 20 Breeders' Cups, will be on hand for a special autograph session from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. He's also scheduled to ride that night, including a horse in the featured Silver Spur Breeders' Cup Stakes that will be run as the first race of the meet at 6:35 p.m.

General admission during the live season is $3 and clubhouse admission is $6. Reserved seating can be purchased in person or by calling (972) 263-PONY. All reserved seats to the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships are sold out and there is no general or clubhouse admission that day. Parking is $2 (except Breeders' Cup Day).

Lone Star Park is located in the heart of the Dallas Fort Worth area, 12 miles west of Dallas and 20 miles east of Fort Worth. The racetrack is located approximately 10 miles south of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport and one-half mile north of Interstate-30 off Belt Line Road in Grand Prairie at 1000 Lone Star Parkway. For more information, call (972) 263-RACE or (800) 795-RACE or log onto lonestarpark.com.


RACING SCHEDULE: 19 dates; Oct. 1 through Oct. 31; Thursdays through Sundays.

POST TIMES: Weeknights, 6:35 p.m. CT; Weekends and Oct. 28, Oct. 29 and Oct. 31, 1:35 p.m. CT; Oct. 30, Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day, 11:40 a.m. CT.

GATES OPEN: Weeknights, 5 p.m. CT; Weekends, Oct. 28 and Oct. 29, 11:30 a.m. CT.; Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day, 7 a.m. CT.

ADMISSION (not applicable Oct. 30): General, $3; Clubhouse (second and fourth floors of Grandstand), $6. There is no General or Clubhouse Admission on Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day, Oct. 30.

RESERVED SEATING (not applicable Oct. 28, Oct. 29 or Oct. 30): Grandstand apron boxes, free; for reserved seating options on the grandstand apron, second floor Terrace Level or fourth floor Silks Dining Terraces, call (972) 263-PONY or (800) 795-RACE. For groups of 20 or more, call (972) 237-1197.

ADDITIONAL RESERVED SEATING ON BREEDERS' CUP WEEK (Oct. 28 and 29 only): For reserved seating options on the grandstand apron, grandstand apron boxes, second floor Terrace Level, fourth floor Silks Dining Terraces or select temporary Breeders' Cup seating, call (972) 263-PONY or (800) 795-RACE.

BREEDERS' CUP DAY SEATING (Oct. 30): Event is sold out. Must have pre-purchased a reserved seat to enter the facility. There is no general admission. No Will Call.

PARKING (not applicable Oct. 30): General, $2; Preferred, $4; Valet, $7.

BREEDERS' CUP DAY PARKING (Oct. 30): Pre-purchased General, $25; Pre-Purchased Remote, $10 (includes shuttle service); Limousine Parking, $50; Charter Bus Parking, $100. No Preferred or Valet parking on Breeders' Cup Day. Taxi and Limousine drop off available.

OFFICIAL PROGRAMS: Lone Star Today, $2.50; Race Books (simulcasts), $2.50; Official Breeders' Cup Program (Oct. 30), $3.50.

NUMBER OF RACES: 187 races are scheduled; 9 races on Thursdays and Sundays; 10 races on Fridays and Saturdays; 11 races on Thursday, Oct. 28 (International Jockey Championship Day); 11 races on Friday, Oct. 29 (Walmac Lone Star Derby Day); 12 races on Saturday, Oct. 30 (Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day); 10 races on Sunday, Oct. 31 (Closing Day).

PURSES: Approximately $239,000 daily (does not include Breeders' Cup Day). Horsemen will compete for approximately $18.7 million (or $4.3 million excluding Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships Day) at the Fall Breeders' Cup Meeting.

STAKES PROGRAM: 26 stakes races cumulatively worth $15,825,000 or 18 non-Breeders' Cup stakes races cumulatively worth $1,825,000.

GENERAL INFORMATION: (972) 263-PONY or lonestarpark.com.

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