Acclamation will race in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap on Friday night… (Benoit Photo )
Hollywood Park will begin its annual lengthy spring/summer meeting with a new name and a top attraction.
Thursday will mark opening day at Betfair Hollywood Park. It begins a program of Thursday-Sunday racing that will contest $6.8 million in stakes money and will carry on right through racing's Triple Crown season to a July 15 ending.
Thursday's opening-day feature will be the $70,000 Harry Henson Stakes. But Friday's first evening card will attract the weekend's most attention, with the appearance of Acclamation, an Eclipse Award winner last year and winner of Del Mar's Pacific Classic. Adding to the attraction of the 6-year-old's appearance, in the third race on the card that begins at 7:05 p.m., will be the re-appearance of jockey Patrick Valenzuela.
Valenzuela, 49, who rode Acclamation in the Pacific Classic, has a history of drug-related suspensions and time away from the track. His longest absence was four months and was characterized as a retirement.
Acclamation and Valenzuela will be competing in the $100,000 Inglewood Handicap, a turf race lengthened from 11/16 miles to 11/8 miles.