If it's June and school is out, it must be time for the Alameda County Fair to take place. And if the fair is going on, it also means it's time for horse racing to come to the Pleasanton track, the oldest one-mile dirt track in the United States.
The fair starts this Friday (June 16) and will run through July 9. Racing will take place Friday through Sunday of each week, along with Tuesday, July 4.
Post-time each day is set for 1:45 p.m., with the Daily Handicapping Seminar beginning each day of racing at 12:30 p.m. on the stage right outside the racing grandstands. I will again be hosting the seminars, accompanied by a variety of guests throughout the fair.
This has the potential to be the biggest race meet in recent history with the addition of what will be known as "Mile Day" at the Fair.
The final day of the meeting -- July 9 -- will be built around a new stakes race: the $150,000 Pleasanton Mile. The eight-furlong test for 3-year-olds and up, caps a day that also features the Everett Nevin, a race that showcases top 2-year-old horses from throughout California.
It will be the richest race in the history of Northern California fair racing.
The California Authority of Racing Fairs (CARF) has been hard at work putting together the 13 days of racing. As can be expected, there is much excitement for Mile Day.
"The community will be proud of this day of racing," said Tom Doutrich, racing secretary for CARF. "Pleasanton deserves it. We would love to get this race graded -- we will go through the process to get that done."
The Mile Day will also see TVG -- powered by FanDuel -- broadcasting live and on site.
There is another new stakes race this year -- the Mary Clare Schmitt Oaks -- that will honor Clare Schmitt, who passed away earlier this year. Schmitt, along with her husband George, were iconic players in not just horse racing in Pleasanton but throughout California as breeders, owners and horse racing overall.
The other stakes are the She's a Tiger (June 24) and the Oak Tree Sprint (July 1).
While there are only three days of racing each week with the addition of July 4 the final week, Doutrich and the CARF team are working hard on the quality of horses.
"There are not as many horses as there used to be, but less is more right now," Doutrich said.
The Ballistic United Soccer Club announced that 26 players from their competitive teams recently graduated from high school and will be attending college.
In addition, three of the players were National Merit Semifinalists.
Academic excellence is a cornerstone of the Ballistic developmental plan, making the players not just better in soccer, but better people as well. Ballistic is working to develop future leaders to benefit their communities.
BUSC's core values of integrity, accountability, perseverance, sportsmanship and aspiration are reinforced both on the field of play, and off the field.
The players are Allen Zhou, Fernando Cavazos, Sam Montoya, Jack Lingle, Rohan Sethna, Razin Chadrey, Branden Misquita, Faheem Naik, Andy McMasters, Ezra Lynch, Aarnav Reddy, Arvind Saravanakumar, Brandon Correia, Dante Ruiz, David Wright, Elias Rousta, Ethan Reeves, Fionn Conway, Gabriel Hersch, Isaac Light, Kalyan Manickaraja, Kishore Saravanakumar, Mick Majer, Nate Fluker and Ryan Wu.
Light, Wu and Arvind Saravanakumar were the three players selected as the National Merit Semifinalists.
The list of colleges the players will be attending include CSU San Marcos, CSU Chico, Colorado State, Emory, Indiana, Las Positas, Loyola Marymount, Pepperdine, Santa Clara, Santa Barbara City, Stony Brook, UC Berkeley, UC Davis, UC Santa Barbara, UC Santa Cruz, Michigan, Oregon and Tennessee.