Is Horse Racing Dead? Not Yet in No. California

Golden Gate Fields concluded its 2018 Fall Meet in strong fashion on Sunday, Dec. 9, as the track posted a robust 19 percent year to year gain in all sources pari-mutuel handle over the course of 30 racing days. The positive increase mirrors results in all sources handle achieved at this year’s Summer and Winter/Spring Meets, and further underscores the positive changes taking place as Golden Gate Fields now looks forward to its 2018-19 Winter/Spring Meet opener on Wednesday, Dec. 26.

Increases in out of state wagering and off-track betting helped contribute to a total Fall Meet handle of $99.7 million, well above the $83.6 million wagered in 2017.

“We had another great meet,” said Golden Gate Fields Vice President and General Manager, David Duggan. “We, first and foremost, greatly appreciate the support of our loyal fans and horseplayers. Additionally, the horsemen have been working tirelessly as have our front-side staff.

“At the end of the day, it takes a great team to make a successful racing product and we have a great team here. We have improved our product in many ways this year and we look forward to continued progress in 2019.”

Jonathon Wong was the leading trainer for the third meet in a row, making 28 trips to the Winner’s Circle. Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer finished second in the trainer standings with 15 wins.

“I give the credit to all of my help, my owners, and the horses,” said Wong. “2018 was a great year for our team. My grooms, exercise riders and assistants work their tails off every day. The owners let me put the horses in the right spots and luckily, many of our horses performed well in the afternoon.”

William “Billy” Antongeorgi III topped the jockey standings with 36 victories, one more than Abel Cedillo. The accomplishment marks Antongeorgi’s first-ever riding title at Golden Gate Fields.

“Billy works so hard,” said jockey agent Fernando “Shoes” Navarro, who has represented Antongeorgi since 2015. “He has a great work ethic and great personality. He has that ‘it’ factor as a rider. I’m really happy for him. He wasn’t in the last race of the meet (on Sunday), so we watched it together and it was emotional when it was official and we had won the riding title. We hugged and congratulated one another.”

With the its upcoming Winter/Spring Meet running from Dec. 26 through June 9, Golden Gate Fields has announced an increase in maiden special weight and allowance race purses, while also bumping up bottom level claiming and maiden claiming purses to a minimum of $10,000.

 

Added Horse Racing Date for Golden Gate Fields

Golden gate turf breakGOLDEN GATE FIELDS TO ADD ONE RACING DAY, THURSDAY, MAY 31; BAY AREA TRACK TO OFFER FANS & HORSEMEN ADDITIONAL TURF OPPORTUNITIES AS ALL SOURCES HANDLE SHOWS 31 PERCENT INCREASE OVER 2017

WINTER/SPRING MEET TO CONCLUDE JUNE 10, CREATING A SEVEN-WEEK TURF VOID IN THE BAY AREA

BERKELEY, Calif. —With another strong season underway and its turf course in impeccable condition, Golden Gate Fields has announced it will add Thursday, May 31 to its spring racing calendar, which is welcome news to Bay Area horsemen and fans alike.

“We plan to offer a good many turf races on this extra day and throughout the remainder of the Spring Meet,” said David Duggan, Golden Gate Fields General Manager. “This meet will conclude on June 10 and following that, there’s a seven-week period where there’s no turf racing in Northern California. Our turf course is pristine, and the weather should complement the day nicely.”

Duggan, who took the reins at Golden Gate in December, was quick to defer credit for the track’s recent success.

“Our great position this meet is a direct result of the horseplayers and the fantastic effort put forth by our horsemen, jockeys and our staff,” said Duggan. “As a result, we are very pleased to be adding to our racing calendar, and especially in late-May. We’ve said this many times, but we’ve got a tremendous group of horsemen. We’re excited to be doing well and we look forward to finishing up strong.”

First post time on Thursday, May 31 is scheduled for 12:15 p.m. PT. For additional racing information, please visit www.goldengatefields.com.

$1.2 Million Jackpot at Golden Gate

ALBANY, CALIF. – The jackpot on the Golden Pick 6 will begin at $1,250,824.74 when racing resumes Thursday at Golden Gate Fields.

On Sunday there were 12 winning tickets worth $9,515.70. The jackpot is paid only when there is a single ticket with all six winners. A victory by No. 1 Schwyz (10th) or No. 7 Pepper and Salt (fifth) would have triggered a jackpot payout of $1,365,023.

There are four race days left in the Winter/Spring Meet. There is a mandatory Golden Pick 6 payout on June 12, closing day. The jackpot currently is the largest in North American horse racing.

Thursday’s Golden Pick 6 sequence will begin with race 3. There also is a Super High 5 carryover of $6,285.92. The Super High 5 will be offered on the eighth and final race.

AGOS Claimer of the Week: Golden Gate Tahoe

Horse Racing Claimer of the Week at AGameofSkill.comFast moving Tahoe

Yahoo Tahoe tracked early leaders, joined a ferocious battle in the stretch, fought hard and continued to inch forward to the line about a half-length ahead of the other $40,000 claimers and won the second race at Golden Gate Friday afternoon. Yahoo Tahoe retuned $7.60 to his supporters and has been named the agameofskill.com Claimer of the Week. The bay gelding has now tallied 7 career victories and was ridden by Hall of Famer Russell Baze. The son of McCann’s Mojave stopped the timer at 1:10.45 for the 6 panels. Trained by Andy Mathis, the 5 year old has never won at another track and has finished in the money 14 times from 21 starts. Owned by Desert Sun Stables, Yahoo Tahoe has earned $170,000 in his career.