The turf meets the surf for the summer season at Del Mar, which begins Wednesday and runs through September 4. Over the course of the 37-day stand, the seaside track will stage 43 stakes worth a total of $7.8 million, as well as record overnight purses that rank as California’s highest and among America’s richest.
The traditional opening-day feature, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes for three-year-olds at a mile on turf, has once again proven popular enough to be split into two divisions. In its 32 runnings since 1981, the Oceanside has been split no fewer than 26 times. It serves as a key prep for the track’s sophomore championship event, the $300,000 Del Mar Derby slated for September 1.
Opening day will play host to a pair of divisions of the Oceanside Stakes. for sophomores on the turf. In the first, Best Pal S. (G2) winner Know More, grassy stakes winner Gervinho, the multiple graded stakes placed Undrafted, a 10-length grass winner at Churchill last time, and the super impressive and unbeaten Freakin’ Rocket, look like the main dangers in the field.
In the second division of the Oceanside, impressive stakes winner Gabriel Charles, Grade 3 hero Den’s Legacy, smart allowance winner Joelito, Generous Stakes (G3) runner-up Rising Legend and Rosengold, unbeaten with a trio of stakes wins in as many turf starts, are the ones that should be there at the finish.
Del Mar Summer 2013 Wagering
One of the most popular selections at the track – the Pick Six – will be presented once more with guaranteed pools on all racing days. The bet, which requires that fans pick the winners of the last six races on the day’s card and often results in large payoffs, will have a guaranteed pool of $125,000 on weekdays and $250,000 on weekends.
As it also has for the past two years, the track additionally will offer guaranteed pools on its Pick Four bet, requiring the selection of the winners for the day’s final four events. The guaranteed pool for this .50¢-minimum wager is $250,000 on weekdays and $500,000 on weekends.
A bet that was instituted in 2011 – the .50¢ Player’s Pick Five – continues on the betting menu again this season. The wager requires picking the winners of the day’s first five races and will be available at a minimum price of .50¢. It carries the additional advantage of having a takeout of only 14%.
The full array of Del Mar bets is as follows: $2 win, place and show; $1 Exacta; $2 Quinella; $1 Trifecta; $2 rolling Double; $1 rolling Pick Three; $1 Superfecta (.10¢ minimum); $1 Place Pick All; $1 Super High Five; $2 Pick Six; .50¢ Player’s Pick Five, and .50¢ Pick Four.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club 2013 Summer Meet
- July 17 through September 4
- Racing Schedule – Del Mar will conduct a 37-day meeting, racing on a Wednesday through Sunday basis up until Wednesday, September 4. There will be one additional day added to the seven-week schedule – a holiday program on Labor Day Monday, September 2.
- First post on most days will be at 2 p.m. with the exception of Fridays when cards start at 4 p.m.
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Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Facts:
Del Mar Park, located 20 miles from San Diego’s busy downtown, was founded in 1937 by entertainment icon Bing Crosby. The crooner greeted the first fan at the gates, a star-studded beginning to what has become one of America’s most notable racetracks. Del Mar has hosted historic races, such as the famous Seabiscuit-Ligaroti match in 1938. Seabiscuit won the grueling duel by a nose. Stars and politicians, such as Ann Miller, Don Ameche, Ava Gardner, Red Skelton, Dorothy Lamour, Crosby and Pat O’Brien, visited the track every summer and helped to bring it into the limelight. During World War II, Del Mar was shut down and transformed into a training arena for the marines and a salvage yard for parts for the B-17 bomber. In 1960, Del Mar unveiled a turf track with a length of 7/8th of a mile. This track was unique because it had a diagonally shaped chute that could either have a distance of 1 1/16th or 1 1/8th miles. Again, Del Mar had created a unique feature for horse racing. In 1990, Del Mar continued to win bettors over as it led the nation with an average daily handle of $7,510,867. The Pacific Classic was introduced in that year and became the richest race in Del Mar history at $1 million. By 1992, the “new” Del Mar was finished as the former grandstand was rebuilt and placed beside the clubhouse. The renovations cost $80 million and included 505 farms. Presently, The Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts more than 350 events that attract an estimated three million visitors annually. The horse-racing facility is a part of the 350-acre, multi-use entertainment and exhibit arena. The facilities include 200,000 square feet of trade show and meeting space; a 15,000-seat grandstand; a 9,000-seat outdoor arena; a 100,000-square-foot satellite wagering facility; a one-mile racetrack; 1,800 permanent animal stalls; a 10-acre golf/tennis/retail outlet/RV park and the Del Mar horse park, a 64-acre equestrian facility. Following the trend of tracks like Keeneland, Arlington Park, Woodbine and Turfway Park, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club opened its 2007 summer racing season with a new Polytrack surface on the main track. As mandated by the California Horse Racing Board, by 2008 all major Thoroughbred racetracks in California had installed synthetic surfaces on their main tracks. Both Hollywood Park and Santa Anita chose to install a Cushion Track, and Golden Gate Fields in Northern California has installed a Tapeta surface.