With $1.7 million in purses and six stakes races over a 12-day race meet, the Oak Tree Racing Association will be returning to the Alameda County Fair, beginning June 18 through July 5.
The meet will run Thursday-Sunday each of the three weeks, with a post time of 1:15 p.m. Thursday, Saturday and Sunday; and the first race beginning at 2:15 p.m. each Friday.
This marks the second consecutive year of partnership with Oak Tree, the Alameda County Fair and the California Authority of Racing Fairs. Oak Tree is a not-for-profit association with a mission of "horsemen helping horsemen."
"Oak Tree Racing Association is looking forward to our second meet with the Alameda County Fair, commencing June 18, 2015," said Sherwood Chillingworth, executive vice president of Oak Tree. "Together with the fair staff we will be initiating some new events that should be helpful to existing horseplayers, and introducing activities that could appeal to the Fair-goers who have not been previously involved."
A new event to the fair and race meet is the "Spin to Win" contest.
After entering the green admission gate to the fair, fair-goers will have the chance to spin a wheel for prizes that will be redeemable in the Budweiser Grandstand. Racing education will be available for new fans in the redemption area as well.
The signature race of the meet will be the $100,000 Oak Tree Distaff on June 27, which is sponsored in part by the California Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
"The overall highlight is our purse structure," said racing secretary Tom Doutrich of the $1.7 million in purses offered. "We are working hard to bring in horses for the races and are looking forward to another great meet."
The Daily Handicapping Seminar will be returning this year with co-host handicapper Dennis Miller and new track announcer Dave Rodman, the voice of the Preakness. The two men will be joined by special guests each day.
The seminars start at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Friday seminars will begin at 12:30 p.m.
Other promotional events returning include The Win, Place or Show contest and the $10,000 Putting Contest, as well as the Hippty-Hop contest for kids aged seven to 10 year old.
There will be a special Father-Child Hippty-Hop competition, as Father's Day falls during fair dates. In celebration, fathers will compete after the first and third races, while the children will compete after the second and fourth races.
Also back this year is the "Owner for a Race" contest where one winner each day gets a chance to feel like an owner of horse by getting to go into the paddock for the saddling of the horses, watching the race from the Winner's Circle and then having their picture taken with the winning jockey.
On closing day, there's scheduled to be two Thoroughbred stakes races, as well as a pair of Arabian Stakes -- the H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Cup and the H.H. Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Ladies World Championship (IFAHR) are scheduled for the second and third races.
The races will include two promotional days -- one on opening day where guests can receive an Oak Tree at Pleasanton shirt, and one on June 26 with the giveaway item to be announced.
"We are very excited for our second year of partnering with Oak Tree," said Alameda County Fair CEO Jerome Hoban. "Last year the partnership provided fair attendees and racing fans a popular and exciting 12 days of racing at the Alameda County Fair. This year promises to be every bit as fun and is a can't-miss experience."
More information about the Oak Tree horse races can be found online.