Del Mar Racing Season
San Diego horse racing takes place where the “turf meets the surf” at the Del Mar Racetrack. Fans flock to the track each summer to wager on their favorite horses during the popular, annual Del Mar Racetrack racing season, mid-July – early-September. Be part of the magic and nostalgia of this long-time horse race tradition dating back to 1937 when Bing Crosby greeted the first guests, and Seabiscuit won by a nose in the infamous race in 1938. This season features the nation’s top racehorses, trainers and jockeys, and plenty of fun in the sun. Book your room at a great rate and enjoy a quick 20 minute drive to the race track.
With the 33rd edition of its premier event, the $1,000,000 FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic leading a parade of 39 offerings in 31 days, Del Mar is set to present a record-tying stakes schedule worth $8,275,000 for the 84th season of Thoroughbred sport at its iconic seaside oval beginning on Friday, July 21.
The Grade I “Classic” at a mile and one-quarter will top a sparkling five-graded-stakes afternoon on Saturday, September 2 that includes the Grade II, $300,000 Del Mar Handicap and the Grade II, $300,000 Del Mar Mile.
All told that track has slated six Grade I races over the course of an eight-week summer stand, as well as six Breeders’ Cup “Win & You’re In” tests that each guarantee a spot in the starting gate for their major counterparts during the two-day, $28 million end-of-season championship spectacular that will be held this year at Santa Anita.
The shore track again will feature eight black type events strictly for California-breds carrying total purses of $1,150,000. Further, it has 19 stakes on its popular Jimmy Durante Turf Course along with five overnight stakes, each with a value of $100,000.
“We’ve got a stakes schedule that mirrors our record program of last year,” noted Del Mar vice president and racing secretary David Jerkens. “We made a couple of very minor tweaks, but otherwise it’s the same offerings at the same value that our horsemen and women found especially pleasing last year.”
As it has for decades, the $100,000 Caesars Sportsbook Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds on the grass will kick off the proceedings on opening day. And closing day – Sunday, September 10 – once more will be headlined by the Grade I, $300,000 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity at seven furlongs, the championship event for 2-year-olds at the session.
The track’s six Grade I affairs are led by the FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic, of course, but also include the $400,000 Bing Crosby Stakes for older horses at six furlongs on Saturday, July 29; the $400,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes for fillies and mares at a mile and one-sixteenth on Saturday, August 5; the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks for 3-year-old fillies at nine furlongs on the turf on Saturday, August 19; the $300,000 FanDuel Racing Del Mar Debutante for 2-year-old fillies at seven furlongs on Saturday, September 9, and the Del Mar Futurity.