Among The Top US Tracks For Field Size, Wagering; California Safety Standards Continue
Del Mar concluded its 84th summer racing season on Sunday and once again the track presented full fields with competitive and safe racing that continues to provide value for racing fans.
Del Mar had the highest purses in the state at $885,000 per day. Total wagering for the meet was $526.1 million compared to $579.8 million last summer and was impacted by the weather-related loss of racing on August 20. Handle averaged $17.5 million per day, a decrease of 6.2% from last year's record wagering. The results of the meet continued strong trends for the track over the last several years.
Opening Day was once again a highlight of the summer's social season and average daily on-track attendance for the meet rose 2.5% due in part to a calendar of lifestyle promotions including a Beer Fest, Taste of New Orleans, Donuts Day, Turf & Surf BBQ Fest, a boutique wine tasting and a taco & tequila event.
The track’s innovative “Ship & Win” program which draws horses to Del Mar – and California in general – had another solid season. The summer meet averaged 8.92 horses per race and the 39 stakes races averaged 8.56 runners, both among the strongest in the country.
“A terrific meet,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s Chief Executive Officer, Joe Harper. “I am proud of our team and thankful for the efforts of all the horsemen and women who helped us once again put on world-class racing and entertainment here. I also want to thank racing fans who joined us on-track and around the country who follow our races and our broadcast partners at FanDuel TV for all they do to contribute to another successful summer season here. Lastly, a special thanks to Dennis Moore, John Beggin and their teams for everything they do to ensure that our racing surfaces are safe, consistent and fair."
Leading the progress on equine welfare in California over the last several years, Del Mar continues to rank among the safest tracks in the country. Since implementing a series of reforms in cooperation with the California Horse Racing Board, Thoroughbred Owners of California and other industry stakeholders, California has become the blueprint for national safety reform and reduced serious injuries at its Thoroughbred tracks by over 50%.
"Our horsemen and women are exceptional with their cooperation and willingness to participate in what we offer here each summer,” said Del Mar’s Executive Vice President of Racing, Tom Robbins. “What’s especially satisfying is the way they’ve joined us side-by-side in our efforts to create the safest environment we can for racing and training. We appreciate their hard work and dedication to their craft and it shows every day here."
For the second summer in a row Juan Hernandez led the local riding corps, this time with 39 wins during the 30 days. The top trainer title went to Phil D’Amato
"It takes a tremendous amount of hard work to put on the finest racing meet in America,” said Thoroughbred Owners of California Chairman, Gary Fenton. "Hats off to DMTC, our membership, horsemen and women and our equine athletes for making 2023 another memorable summer.”
Racing returns to Del Mar for the track’s fall Bing Crosby meet running from November 10 to December 3.