Del Mar racetrack
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club logo
|Location||Del Mar, California|
|Owned by||State of California|
|Operated by||Del Mar Thoroughbred Club|
|Date opened||July 3, 1937|
|Notable races||Pacific Classic (G1)
Eddie Read Stakes (G1)
Del Mar Oaks (G1)
Bing Crosby Stakes (G1)
Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (G1)
Del Mar Debutante (G1)
Del Mar Futurity (G1)
Del Mar racetrack is an American Thoroughbred horse racing track at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the seaside city of Del Mar, California, 20 miles north of San Diego. Owned by the State of California and leased by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, it is known for the slogan: "Where The Turf Meets The Surf." It was built by a partnership including Bing Crosby, actors Pat O'Brien, Gary Cooper, Joe E. Brown, Charles S. Howard and Oliver Hardy.
History and information
When Del Mar opened in 1937, Bing Crosby was at the gate to personally greet the fans. On August 12, 1938, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosted a $25,000 winner-take-all match race between Charles S. Howard's Seabiscuit and the Binglin Stable's colt, Ligaroti. In an era when horse racing ranked second in popularity with Americans to Major League Baseball, the match race was much written and talked about and was the first nationwide broadcast of a Thoroughbred race by NBC radio. In the race, Seabiscuit was ridden by jockey George Woolf and Ligaroti by Noel Richardson. In front of a record crowd that helped make the fledgling Del Mar race track a success, Seabiscuit won an exciting battle by a nose.
By 1940, Del Mar became a summer playground for many Hollywood stars. Between 1942 and 1944 the facility was closed due to the Second World War. Initially, the grounds were used for training by the United States Marine Corps, then as a manufacturing site for parts to B-17 bombers.
The first Bing Crosby Stakes was held at Del Mar in 1946 and that same year the Sante Fe Railroad began offering a racetrack special bringing spectators, bettors and horses to Del Mar from Los Angeles. Throughout the late 1940s and 1950s the track became the Saratoga of the West for summer racing. The track had large purses for many stakes, many of the stakes races were won by the legendary jockey, Bill Shoemaker.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Del Mar continued to offer high quality racing and continued to be one of the premier racetracks in the country. The track attempted to run a fall meet in the 1960s but later canceled it after getting lackluster results. This allowed for the creation of the Oak Tree Racing Association at Santa Anita race track.
Change marked the 1980s when the infield was opened to spectators and in 1984 Trevor Denman became the voice of Del Mar. The track still offered the best summer racing in the West and continued to grow in purses, handle and attendance.
In the 1990s the track underwent a major renovation. The grandstand of the Del Mar Fairgrounds was demolished and replaced. In 1991 the track ran its richest race to date, the $1,000,000 Grade I Pacific Classic Stakes. The first Classic was won by an impressive three-year-old named Best Pal.
Beginning in the year 2000, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club 's marketing team went through a major shift in their marketing direction. They realized they had to attract a more youthful audience as well as a female audience. They focused Del Mar as a fashionable destination, using social media and other avenues to market the racetrack. The majority of ads didn't show horses. They adopted the slogan "Cool as Ever" and created a new website to draw in the new crowd. Their strategy worked as over 13 years later Del Mar has changed their demographics and audience attendance.The marketing campaign of the Del Mar Racetrack has become a Stanford business study to see if their strategy could be done at other racetracks.
In March 2013, there was a vote to expand the turf portion of the racetrack.
The Del Mar racetrack runs live racing July through early September. The other months of the year the satellite wagering facility is operating.
The track has a one-mile oval with chutes for 7/8 and 1 1/4 mile races and a seven-eighths mile oval with a diagonal straightaway chute for 1 1/16 and 1 1/8 mile races on the turf course. The turf is a mixture of Common Bermuda and Hybrid Bermuda (GN-1). The track runs during the summer at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and can stable more than two thousand horses. Del Mar is known for its tan stucco grandstand located directly on the Pacific Ocean.
- Jon Lies (2007–present)
- Bob Ike (?–present)
- Mike Willman (?-2006 full-time, 2007–2009 part-time)
The track races from July to September. It presents the following graded stakes races:
Grade 1 :
- Bing Crosby Stakes
- Clement L. Hirsch Handicap
- Del Mar Debutante Stakes
- Del Mar Futurity
- Del Mar Oaks
- Eddie Read Stakes
- Pacific Classic Stakes
Grade 2 :
- Best Pal Stakes
- Del Mar Mile Handicap
- Del Mar Derby
- Del Mar Handicap
- John C. Mabee Handicap
- Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap
- Pat O'Brien Handicap
- San Clemente Handicap
- San Diego Handicap
Grade 3 :
Ungraded stakes :
- Adoration Stakes
- Daisycutter Handicap
- Green Flash Handicap
- El Cajon Stakes
- Oceanside Stakes
- Osunitas Stakes
- Pirate's Bounty Stakes
- Solana Beach Handicap
- Wickerr Stakes
- Windy Sands Handicap
Discontinued stakes :
Surfside Race Place, one of the nation's largest and most prestigious off-track betting facilities is the 90,000 sq ft satellite wagering facility of the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Del Mar racetrack. It's located at the northeast corner of the Del Mar Fairgrounds at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd in Del Mar.
They are open Wednesday through Sunday (closed Mondays & Tuesdays) during the day, and Friday through Sunday at night. The satellite wagering facility offers live wagering on simulcasts horse races on over 1000 televisions during the off season of the Del Mar racetrack live racing known as live meet's.
The sports bar Surfside Race Place give horse racing fans excitement by broadcasting horse races via satellite from around the country. Race fans can view and bet by satellite on other racetracks such as Aqueduct, Arlington Park, Bay Meadows, Belmont Park, Calder, Cal Expo Harness, Churchill Downs, Delaware Park, Ellis Park, Fair Grounds, Fairplex, Golden Gate Fields, Gulfstream Park, Hastings, Hawthorne, Betfair Hollywood Park, Kentucky Downs, Laurel, Los Alamitos, Meadowlands, Monmouth Park, Oaklawn, Oak Tree, Pimlico, Remington, Santa Anita Park, Saratoga, Sunland Park, Turfway Park, Victoria Race Tracks, and Woodbine. As well as high stakes races such as the Dubai World Cup but also Grade 1 races known as the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes, and Belmont Stakes which combined form the Triple Crown.,
Surfside Race Place currently offers Bingo on Sundays.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will be using Surfside Race Place on Opening Day.
The Del Mar Diamond Club is a free membership shared between the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and the satellite wagering facility Surfside Race Place.
The Diamond club gives half price admission to both. Members can choose to have their cards turned on for holding account balances like a credit card which can then be used on the wagering machines.
Diamond club members can get free parking to the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The parking pass is available inside Surfside Race Place and is good for year round except during the live racing season.
Diamond Club Members who scan their card while wagering on California tracks can receive various perks depending on the amount wagered.
Premium Clubs of The Del Mar racetrack
The Turf Club
The Turf Club is the Premium Club of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. It currently costs $800 a year to join. To visit the club the fee currently is $60 per day and a member has to vouch for you. A buttoned up shirt and jacket are required attire for men.
The Saddle Club
The Saddle Club is the Premium Club of Surfside Race Place. It currently costs $1000 a year to join. Anybody may visit for $10 per day. There is no required dress code.
The two clubs have no relation to one another. Membership in one doesn't grant access to the other one.
- Del Mar Racetrack history
- Del Mar Times
- / Del Mar Racetrack marketing
- / Del Mar Racetrack Stanford Study
- Del Mar Racetrack expansion
- LaMarra, Tom (May 9, 2013). "Hollywood Park to Close in December". bloodhorse.com. The BloodHorse. Retrieved May 10, 2013.
- Del Mar racetrack considers additional months
- Del Mar Racetrack
- 2012 Del Mar Media cGuide
- SurfSide RacePlace Times
- Jeff Munson Handicapping Seminar
- Bob Ike Handicapping Seminar
- Surfside Race Place Site for 2.75 Million Handicapping Contest
- SurfSide Race Place offers Bingo
- Surfside Race Place being used for Opening Day
- Holtzclaw, Kenneth M. Del Mar Racetrack (2006) Arcadia Publishing ISBN 978-0-7385-3146-5
- Del Mar Media Guide