Thoroughbred racing returns to California on Thursday when Golden Gate Fields hosts a nine-race program starting at 3:45 p.m. ET. The card will feature a mandatory payout of the Golden Pick 6, which has a carryover of $398,294.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, racing at Golden Gate was suspended on April 2 by the Alameda County Department of Public Health. Last week, track officials received notice they could resume racing starting Thursday.
A total of 80 horses were entered for an average field size of 8.8 starters per race. The Golden Pick 6 begins in race No. 4 with an approximate post time of 5:15 p.m. ET. The sequence consists entirely of low-level claiming and maiden-claiming events.
Golden Gate plans to run its usual Thursday through Sunday schedule through the conclusion of the winter-spring meet on June 14.
Heading into the homestretch, jockey Juan Hernandez holds a commanding lead in the jockey standings with 101 wins, which is more than double the next closest pursuer (William Antongeorgi III). In the trainer standings, Jonathan Wong holds an equally insurmountable advantage. He leads the table with 60 victories and is followed by Isidro Tamayo, who has 26 wins.
Wong told said last week that following the hiatus in racing, his horses were refreshed and “ready to rock.”
While Golden Gate is primed for its racing reboot, at Santa Anita Park in southern California the situation remains murky. Santa Anita is preparing to start racing on Friday with entries to be taken on Tuesday. However, the track has yet to be given the green light to resume by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.