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.
Purse levels for 2013 will be above those advertised for last year. Leading the way on the track’s best-ever overnight purse schedule is the $85,000 prize for a moneyed allowance race, a $75,000 pot for straight maidens and a $68,000 purse for $62,500 claimers.
Once again featuring several “guarantees” on large pools and a “winner’s bonus” for Sunday cards, Del Mar’s betting menu for the 2013 will look familiar to many racing fans. The reason for that, simply, is because it is the exact same menu the track presented in 2012.
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 has for the past two years, Del Mar additionally will provide a “winner’s bonus” of $50,000 for each Sunday’s Pick Six. The bonus is for winning tickets only, so in the case of five fans holding winners for example, each would have an additional $10,000 added to their prize. If there are no winning Pick Six tickets on a Sunday program, that $50,000 bonus will be added to the “carryover” for the next racing day. However, in the case where there is already a “carryover” coming into a Sunday program, no additional bonus monies will be provided.
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
- Del Mar Thoroughbred 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.
Del Mar Race Track Information
main track data: 1-mile oval; a Polytrack surface was installed in 2007; chutes of 7 furlongs and 1¼ miles; stretch length: 919 feet;
infield grass course: Jimmy Durante Turf Course, 7-furlong oval, with a diagonal chute that allows for races up to
total Del Mar fairgrounds acreage: 350
stable accommodations: 2,100
additional amenities: Features an extra video and timing system – Trakus – installed in 2007; offers a parallel website – www.delmarscene.com – aimed at younger racing fans
Del Mar Summer 2013 Racing Schedule:
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.
Del Mar’s opening weekend also features the first of the meet’s Grade 1 contests, the Eddie Read on Saturday.
The track’s signature race, the $1 million Pacific Classic, anchors a stakes tripleheader on August 25. Pacific Classic Day includes a pair of Grade 2 events, the $250,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes at seven furlongs and the $200,000 Del Mar Mile on the Jimmy Durante turf course.
The other Grade 1 offerings are the Bing Crosby Stakes at six furlongs (July 28), the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes at 1 1/16 miles (August 3), the Del Mar Oaks at nine panels on the lawn (August 17), the Del Mar Debutante at seven-eighths (August 31) and the seven-furlong Del Mar Futurity on closing day (September 4).
With the exception of the lucrative Pacific Classic, all of Del Mar’s Grade 1 races carry purses of $300,000.
Five of the stakes have been deemed Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, meaning automatic, fees-paid berths for designated Breeders’ Cup races. They are the Bing Crosby (for a spot in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint), Clement L. Hirsch (Ladies’ Classic), Del Mar Handicap (Turf), Pat O’Brien (Dirt Mile) and Pacific Classic (Classic).
Two of the track’s stakes have been enhanced by $50,000 this season, while a third has been reduced. The added stakes money goes to a pair of California-bred grass races — the California Dreamin’ Handicap (July 21) and the Solana Beach Handicap (August 18) — each now increased from $100,000 to $150,000 as part of the statewide breeding commitment to a more lucrative stakes program for homegrown runners.
The Yellow Ribbon Handicap (September 2), which prior to last year was run as the Palomar Handicap, had its purse reduced from a one-year level of $250,000 to its original prize of $150,000 for its 2013 renewal.
Besides its 33 major stakes, Del Mar also will offer 10 overnight stakes with purses boosted to a record level of $90,000 each.
Racing begins at the seaside oval on Wednesday, July 17 and there will be 14 different wagers offered, starting with the traditional win, place and show and running all the way down to several five- and six-horse combination bets.
About the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
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.
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.
In recent times the track has been a fertile proving ground for many of the nation’s best horses and horsemen. Its 2-year-old program has shone the first spotlight on many of the sport’s stars-to-be and its 3-year-old grass stakes series is among the most popular and competitive high-profile events in the country. In 1991, the track inaugurated its richest and most prestigious offering, the $1 million Pacific Classic. The Grade I feature quickly became one of the nation’s top summer prizes while being offered at the classic American distance of a mile and one quarter.
In 2012, Del Mar continued its run as one of the nation’s top tracks in the key categories of daily average attendance and handle. Its on-track count of 17,623 put it in the forefront of North American meets, and its daily handle of $12,393,240 placed the shore oval among the cream of the country’s racing crop.
During the 2012 season, when the track again raced five days per week, horsemen received $25,437,439 in purses, fees, and awards during the 37-day stand for a record daily average of $687,498. The totals included 33 major stakes worth nearly $7 million.
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.