Oak Tree at Pleasanton Opens Thursday

PLEASANTON, Calif. (June 13, 2016) – The Oak Tree Racing Association is teaming with the Alameda County Fair and the California Authority of Racing Fairs for the third straight season of summer racing commencing June 16 in Pleasanton.

Oak Tree at Pleasanton Entries and Handicapping

The “Oak Tree at Pleasanton” meet, with more than $1.7 million in purses overall, runs Thursday through Sunday over three weeks, June 16-19, June 23-26 and July 1-4. The stand marks the traditional opening for the state’s summer fair circuit season.

“Oak Tree’s goal was in joining a program to strengthen Northern California racing when it became involved with the Alameda County Fair in operating that meet three years ago, and we are continuing in that intent again this year,” said Sherwood C. Chillingworth, the executive vice president for the not-for-profit racing association started in 1968. “One of our objectives this year is to attract more interest in our racing product from outside the state through advance deposit wagering. In both the live and televised racing we are looking forward to another great summer season.”

Tom Doutrich, racing secretary at Pleasanton and the other stops on the California racing fair circuit, noted that Oak Tree is contributing $50,000 in marketing for the meet as well as making daily donations totaling $27,000 to various local charities.

“Oak Tree’s motto has always been horsemen helping horsemen,” Doutrich said, “and Oak Tree has done a great job helping out over the years in all kinds of different areas.”

Post times for the Pleasanton meet are 1:15 p.m. each Thursday, Saturday and Sunday and 2:15 p.m. each Friday. Each day’s racing will be preceded by a handicapping seminar (11:30 a.m. except Friday at 12:30 p.m.) featuring race caller Chris Griffin and special guests. Griffin, who called the races at the Humboldt County Fair in Ferndale in 2015, replaced Dave Rodman this season.

There are eight stakes on the schedule, five for Thoroughbreds, two for Arabians and one for Quarter Horses.

This year’s signature event is the $100,000 Everett Nevin Stakes Sunday, July 3. The race, now part of the “Golden State Series” with a $40,000 purse infusion from the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association, is for state-bred 2-year-olds.

The meet’s Thoroughbred stakes series kicks off Saturday, June 18, with the $50,000 Pleasanton Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at six furlongs. The $50,000 Oak Tree Handicap, for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles, is Saturday, June 25, and is followed on the schedule Saturday, July 2, by the Juan Gonzalez Memorial for 2-year-old fillies at 5 ½ furlongs. The closing-day feature Monday, July 4, is the $50,000 Oak Tree Sprint at six furlongs for 3-year-olds and up.
--Jack Shinar