Live horse racing returns to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton, and I will back in the saddle as well, co-hosting the Daily Handicapping Seminars!
Thanks to longtime director of racing Jeanne Wasserman, I will once again be co-hosting the seminars each day of racing for the meet that runs from next Friday (June 18) until July 18. Racing will take place Friday through Sunday each of the five weekends, plus Monday, July 5. Post time each day is set for 2:45 p.m.
The meet will once again take place without the Alameda County Fair going on, as due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 fair has been pushed back to Oct. 22-31.
Two years after retiring from horse racing at the fair, I will be sharing the stage with track announcer Craig Braddick, who comes to the fair circuit from Turf Paradise in Arizona. The format remains the same as the seminars are free-of-charge and will feature our analysis and picks for each race on the card. The seminars will be taking place in the Farmhouse, the newly renovated building located just past the fair administration building.
The seminars are set for 1 p.m. each day, with the gates to the fairgrounds scheduled to open at 12:30 p.m.
Different this year is that a ticket for a seat at the races will be required to enter the fairgrounds. There are four seating options, two that include dining and two that do not. Parking is included in the cost of a ticket, and parking will be in the WP Lot (across from the main entrance of the fairgrounds) and the near the Red Gate. Parking is first-come, first-served.
There are box seats and grandstand reserve seats available for people opting not to have the dining option. For those wishing to enjoy dining while watching and wagering the races, there is the Sky Lounge at the Track, and the Trackside Terrace Patio. Box seat availability is extremely limited at this point.
There is a two-seat minimum at both Trackside Terrace and Sky Lounge. Minimum seat purchase required for boxes. Each grandstand ticket reserves one unassigned seat. All purchases are for one full day of horse racing. Visit the Alameda County Fair website (https://alamedacountyfair.com; click on "Horse Racing") for more details. Limited availability. Once an option is sold out, it will be removed from the website.
There are three stakes set for the meet, with the new She's A Tiger set for June 26, the Oak Tree Sprint on July 3 and the Everett Nevin Stakes running on July 10.
I look forward to seeing many familiar faces at the seminars this year!
Lester flies in Oregon
Last year, Amador Valley runner John Lester had the top high school time in the nation in the 800 meters with a 1:48.26.
This year he wanted to do better and June 4 he did just that at the Stumptown Twilight Meet in Portland, Ore., clocking a blistering 1:47.65.
The time once again is the top in the nation, as well as third-fastest in California history and the sixth in U.S. history of high school runners.
It was the fastest time by a high-schooler since 2017. The mark is the 29th in the United States this year at all levels (high school, college, and professional) and 177th in the world.
Lester is wrapping up his high school career before he moves on to run for Stanford next year.
Triton Water Polo Club
Triton Water Polo Club of the Tri-Valley has announced plans for the summer club season with practices beginning this week.
The teams will play in weekend tournaments around the Bay Area, including Junior Olympic qualifiers to participate in the Junior Olympics Water Polo Tournament held in Southern California over the weekend of July 17. The 12U and 14U boys will practice from 2-4 p.m. Monday through Friday while the 18U boys will practice from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Friday (with practice locations to be announced).
For those planning to attend Junior Olympics, five-time water polo Olympian Tony Azevedo will be offering weekend training camps. Fees, practice times, and online registration can be found on the Triton Water Polo Club website at Tritonwaterpolo.com.
Editor's note: Dennis Miller is a contributing sports writer for the Pleasanton Weekly. To contact him about his "Pleasanton Preps" column, email [email protected]