Santa Anita Park

Santa Anita Park  Santa Anita Park Racecourse is situated in 320 acres in Arcadia, California on the West Coast of the United States, against the backdrop of the San Gabriel Mountains. The racecourse was established in 1934, under the auspices of the Los Angeles Turf Club, and has the distinction of being the oldest racecourse in southern California. In recent years, Santa Anita Park has become synonymous with the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, which have already been held at the course six times, most recently in 2012, and are due to return again in 2013 and 2014.

 

Course Characteristics

The main track at Santa Anita Park is a left-handed, dirt oval, one mile in circumference with a home straight of just 1½ furlongs. The turf track, which runs inside the main track, is a little over 7 furlongs in circumference. Santa Anita Park is also home to a unique hillside track, known as El Camino Real or, in English, “The Royal Road”, which is 6½ furlongs long and features the only right-handed bend in American horse racing.

 

Track Facts

The fifteen races that constitute the Breeders’ Cup are worth a total of $26 million in prize money.

The Santa Anita Handicap, run over a mile and a quarter in March, was established in 1935 and remains the oldest continuously run stakes race worth $100,000 or more in the country.

Santa Anita’s Winter/Spring Meeting traditionally starts on Boxing Day and goes on until April.

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Pimlico Racecourse

Pimlico Racecourse  Pimlico Racecourse is set in 116 acres in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. Pimlico officially opened in 1870, making it the second oldest racecourse in the country after Saratoga. Today, the racecourse is best known as the home of the Preakness Stakes, the second leg of the American Triple Crown, run over 9½ furlongs on the third Saturday in May each year.

 

Course Characteristics

The main track at Pimlico is a left-handed, dirt oval, 70 feet wide and one mile in circumference, with a home straight of one and three-quarter furlongs. The turf track, which consists of a 9:1 ratio of tall fescue grass and blue grass, maintained at a height of four to five inches, runs inside the main track and has a circumference of 7 furlongs.

 

Track Facts

The Preakness Stakes was first run in 1873, two years before the inaugural Kentucky Derby.

The Preakness Stakes has been run annually at Pimlico, without interruption, since 1909.

The 18 inch by 90 inch blanket of Black-eyed Susans traditionally draped across the shoulders of the Preakness Stakes winner takes three people two days to create.

As soon as the official result of the Preakness Stakes is declared, a painter climbs the replica of the old Members’ Clubhouse cupola in the winners’ enclosure to paint the weather vane in the colours of the winning horse.

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Meydan Racecourse

Meydan Racecourse  Meydan Racecourse is set in a racing district covering over 1,500 acres in the heart of Meydan City in the Ras Al Khor area of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The racecourse was originally unveiled in 2007 but, since 2010, has been the home of the US$10 million Dubai World Cup, bringing it to the attention of the racing world. Between January and March each year, Meydan Racecourse stages the Dubai World Cup Carnival, a series of eleven race meetings culminating in the running of the Dubai World Cup itself.

 

Course Characteristics

The round course, on turf, at Meydan is a left-handed oval, a mile and a half in circumference with a home straight of two and a quarter furlongs. Sprint races, such as the Al Quoz Sprint, start on a chute that joins the round course at the top of the home straight. The all-weather, Tapeta runs inside the turf course and, as such, is slightly narrower and shorter, with a circumference of less than nine furlongs and a home straight of two furlongs.

 

Track Facts

In Arabic, ‘Meydan’ means ‘a meeting place to compete’.

Dubai Millenium, in 2000, recorded the fastest time (1:59.50) in the history of the Dubai World Cup.

Since the first Dubai World Cup meeting, at Nad Al Sheba in 1996, Godolphin has won a third of the races run on the night.

Animal Kingdom, winner of the Dubai World Cup in 2013, subsequently started 5/4 favourite for the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, but could finish only eleventh of the thirteen runners.

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Longchamp Racecourse

Longchamp Racecourse  Longchamp Racecourse or, in French, Hippodrome de Longchamp, is set in 57 hectares on the outskirts of the French capital, Paris, between the Bois de Boulogne and the River Seine. Horse racing first took place at Longchamp in 1857, but nowadays the racecourse with the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, run over 2,400 metres (just over a mile and a half) on the first Sunday in October each year. In total, Longchamp Racecourse stages 29 Flat fixtures between April and October, which include no fewer than 16 Group 1 races.

 

Course Characteristics

Longchamp Racecourse is famous for its variety of interlaced courses, ranging in length from 1,000 metres (approximately five furlongs) to 2,750 metres (approximately a mile and threequarters). The 2,400 metre course is characterised by a hill, which climbs to a height of 30 metres, or nearly 100 feet, alongside the Bois De Boulogne and the so-called false straight, fully 800 metres (approximately half a mile) from the winning post. With the exception of the straight 1,000 metre course, on which the Prix de l’Abbaye de Longchamp is run, all the courses at Longchamp are right-handed.

 

Track Facts

The Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe was first run in 1920 to celebrate the Allied victory in World War I.

The last horse to win the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe twice was Alleged, trained by Vincent O’Brien and ridden by Lester Piggott, in 1978.

Frankie Dettori, winner of the British Flat Jockeys’ Championship in 1994, 1995 and 2004, was handed a six-month by the France Galop, the French racing authority, after testing positive for cocaine while riding at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe trials meeting at Longchamp in September 2012.

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Kranji Racecourse

Kranji Racecourse  Kranji Racecourse is situated approximately 14 miles from the centre of Singapore City and has the distinction of being the only racecourse in Singapore. The racecourse was officially opened on March 4, 2000 by the President of the Republic of Singapore and the inaugural running of the Singapore Airlines International Cup, still by far the most valuable race run at Kranji Racecourse, took place on the same day. In total, Kranji Racecourse plays host to 95 racedays throughout the year.

Course Characteristics

Kranji Racecourse consists of three left-handed, concentric oval tracks, the ‘Long Course’ and the ‘Short Course’ on turf and, since 2008, a synthetic, all-weather track inside the turf courses. As the name suggests, the Long Course is the longest of the three, with a circumference of a mile and a quarter and a home straight nearly three furlongs long. The Short Course is a furlong shorter in circumference and has a home straight just over two furlongs long, favouring agile, handy types. All three courses present a fair test, although over sprint distances horses drawn on the inside have a distinct advantage.

Track Facts

The Singapore Turf Club, formerly the Singapore Sporting Club, was founded in 1842.

Kranji is named after an indigenous leguminous species of tree, known as Keranji, or Kranji.

Ouzo, in 2000, is the only locally trained winner in the history of the Singapore Airlines International Cup. 

The 2003 running of the Singapore Airlines International Cup was cancelled due to an epidemic of the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) virus in Asia.

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