Stakes program highlights fair horse racing

Ellis Davis

The 60th running of the historic $30,000 C.J. Hindley-Humboldt County Marathon Handicap will headline another stellar racing program slated for the 117th Humboldt County Fair race meet.

Racing secretary Tom Doutrich will present six stakes events spread over three breeds (thoroughbreds, Arabians and mules) during the eight-day Humboldt race session that opened Wednesday and runs through Aug. 25.

Stamped as the longest thoroughbred stakes race on the Northern California summer fair circuit, the Humboldt Marathon will be contested at the grueling distance of 1-5/8 miles, where horses cross the finish line four times on this half-mile track.

The marathon will have its traditional place on the Humboldt race calendar -- run as the last race on the last day, Aug. 25.

"The marathon is a very big race on the summer fair circuit, and certainly one that a lot of well-known Northern California trainers would love to win," Doutrich said. "The fans love this race and we are certainly hopeful of attracting a quality, full field of long-distance specialists."

Trainer William E. Morey, one of the Bay Area's top trainers, claimed his "first" marathon when Falling Knife powered away for a facile score in last year's Humboldt headliner.

Doutrich also has four other "overnight" thoroughbred stakes events scheduled during the Humboldt meet. They include: $9,000 Paul Cacci-Eel River Sprints for $6,250 claimers at five furlongs, which took place on Wednesday; the $9,000 Land Of Jazz Dash for $6,250 claiming fillies and mares at five furlongs on Friday; and the $9,000 Victorian Village for $6,250 claiming fillies and mares at seven furlongs on Saturday; and $8,500 Les Mademoiselle for $5,000 claiming distaffers at 1-1/6 miles on Aug. 24.

Mules will be spotlighted in the $7,000 Cream City Handicap at 660 yards around the one turn on Aug. 25.

The $7,000 Ferndale Arabian Stakes at seven furlongs will also comprise a big "getaway" program on Aug. 25.

Photo caption:

Shaun Walker/The Times-Standard

The racetrack is prepared for horse and mule racing action at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds in Ferndale on Tuesday.