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Food Truck Festival Opens Santa Anita's Autumn Meet

Unzip Me ridden by Rafael Bejarano will be featured on Friday's Grade III Ken Maddy Stakes for Santa Anita's opening weekend of their Autumn Meet. (used by permission/Benoit Photo)
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As the baseball season has ended here in Southern California, Santa Anita opens their 24-day Autumn Meet on Friday as they lead up to the Breeders’ Cup Classic hosted at Churchill Downs on Nov. 4 and 5. But the big day of the weekend is Saturday. Not only are they hosting four Grade I stakes with the winners automatically qualifying for a spot in the Breeders’ Cup, but they’re also hosting its fourth Gourmet Food Truck Festival.

So along with the Lady’s Secret at 1 1/16 miles, the Goodwood Stakes at 1 1/8 miles, the Norfolk for two-year olds at 1 1/16 miles and the Yellow Ribbon presented by Emirates Airline for fillies and mares at 1 ¼ miles on turf, a $5 general admission will give fans the options of The Grilled Cheese Truck, the Lobsta Truck, Ragin Cajun, Shrimp Pimp, White Rabbit, Nom Nom and approximately 70 others on the infield. The parking lots will open at 10:30 a.m., gates open at 11:00 a.m. with the first post at 1:00 p.m.

“Santa Anita was the first to bring the idea of Food Truck Festivals to Southern California racetracks and we look forward to this event continuing that tradition,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “We will be offering some of the best racing we’ve seen all year and there’s no doubt this could be the biggest day of our Autumn Meet.”

And being at the track, one must be a degenerate gambler. Santa Anita Park is offering a 50-cent Players’ Pick Five. For a two-quarter minimum, players select five winners of the first five races with a low takeout of 14 percent. Additionally on Saturday Santa Anita will offer a guaranteed $400,000 late Pick Four which will require players to select the winners of the final four races.

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The Meet opens on Friday with “Arcadia Day” where residents of the City of Arcadia get free club house admission with proof of residency.

To open the Meet is the $100,000 Grade III Ken Maddy Stakes featuring fillies and mares for 6 ½ furlongs on the turf carded as the third race of the day. The favorite, five-year old Unzip Me, is ridden by 29-year old Rafael Bejarano and enters the Maddy with earnings of $812,228 and 12-4-3 record in 21 starts.

The gates open at 11:00 a.m. with the first post of nine at 1:00 p.m. on Friday.

The Meet will race on Thursdays through Saturdays through Nov. 5 and includes Columbus Day on Monday, Oct. 10. The Meet will include 13 graded stakes and a day of state-bred racing on the Oct. 29 California Cup. The Meet culminates on Breeders’ Cup weekend where in addition to simulcasting the action from Louisville, Santa Anita will host live thoroughbred racing.