The 15-Day Del Mar Fall Meet Runs Oct. 31 Through Nov. 30
In a strange and scary 2020 season of sports, the Del Mar Fall Meet begins on Halloween and runs for five weeks. The 15-day Thoroughbred meet opens with optimism, and without fans at the seaside oval, as COVID-19 protocols remain in place.
Opening weekend is Saturday and Sunday, while the rest of November will including racing Friday through Sunday plus Thursday, Nov. 26, on Thanksgiving, for the final four days of racing to complete the fall meet.
Del Mar will run eight or nine races daily with a first post of 12:30 p.m. Pacific time on all days with the exception of Thanksgiving Day, when there is a special 11 a.m. start.
The Del Mar Fall Bing Crosby Meet includes 16 stakes races featuring nine graded stakes with seven of them on the turf over the final four-day weekend.
Thurs., Nov 26: $100,000 Red Carpet Handicap (Grade 3) — fillies & mares 3 years old and up at 1 3/8 miles
Fri., Nov. 27: $200,000 Hollywood Turf Cup (Grade 2) — 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/2 miles
Sat., Nov. 28: $300,000 Hollywood Derby (Grade 1) — 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles
Sat., Nov. 28: $200,000 Seabiscuit Handicap (Grade 2) — 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/16 miles
Sat., Nov. 28: $100,000 Jimmy Durante Stakes (Grade 3) — 2-year-old fillies at 1 mile
Sun., Nov. 29: $300,000 Matriarch Stakes (Grade 1) — fillies and mares 3 years old and up at 1 mile
Sun., Nov. 29: $100,000 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes (Grade 3) — 2-year-olds at 1 mile
The two other graded stakes races are on the dirt track. Sunday, Nov. 15 is the $100,000 Bob Hope Stakes (Grade 3) for 2-year-olds at 7 furlongs. On Saturday, Nov. 21 is the $100,000 Native Diver Stakes (Grade 3) for 3-year-olds and up at 1 1/8 miles.
The Saturday and Sunday opening weekend card will each include nine races and average more than eight horses per race — up from an average of 7. 4 starters per race during last fall’s opening weekend.
LEADING JOCKEY FLAVIEN PRAT TO MISS OPENING WEEK
The two leading jockey’s from the Del Mar Summer Meet will miss the first four racing days. Both Flavien Prat and Umberto Rispoli will ride in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 6-7 at Keeneland in Kentucky.
Following the Breeders’ Cup, both riders will be eligible to begin racing immediately upon return for the Sunday, Nov. 8 racing card. The new jockey protocols allow riders to return without further quarantine.
“Returning jockeys will have to be tested Sunday morning by our medical team from Scripps,” said Del Mar president and COO Josh Rubinstein. “If they test negative, they will ride out of the auxiliary jockey room Nov. 8. After a second negative test after Nov. 8, they will move back into the regular jockey room.”
Fans can watch the Del Mar Fall Meet races on TVG, which provides coverage from Del Mar. Larry Collmus, the voice of the Triple Crown for NBC, will again serve as track announcer as he did during the summer meet filling in for Trevor Denman while he takes a break during the global health crisis.
While wagering will not reach the Del Mar summer meet handle, there is one significant change in the wagering menu that could attract more bettors. The reduction in the minimum bet for the Pick 6 goes from $2 to 50 cents.