Sunshine Millions returns to Santa Anita Saturday, January 30 amid some debate whether to bring back the restricted stakes program. The Sunshine Millions was developed to showcase horses bred in Florida and California. Kentucky is the undisputed leader in breeding thoroughbreds but many casual race fans do not realize how many well-bred horses come from all over the country.
The Sunshine Millions runs stakes races at Santa Anita Park in California and Gulfstream Park in Florida. Horses run in a series of races and receive points based on their placing in the top three positions or win/place/show. Three races will be run at each track with Santa Anita hosting the Sunshine Millions Classic, Filly and Mare Turf, and Filly and Mare Sprint. After the completion of all races, the points are tallied and one state will be declared the winner.
California will be represented in the Classic by The Usual Q.T., whose trainer James Cassidy surprised some by not shipping to Florida to run in the turf. The Usual Q.T. has been dominant in California but will now switch to the synthetic surface for his run in the Classic. If he can show an affinity for the main track at Santa Anita, he will become a force in the older horse division.
Aside from the racing action, Santa Anita will be giving away a beach umbrella to everyone in attendance and have a number of activities planned between races and on the infield. First post time is 11:30am and more information is at www.santaanita.com.