Del Mar concluded its 15-day fall meet on Sunday, Nov. 29 with record results. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced that the Bing Crosby season that started Oct. 31 produced a total handle of $195.9 million. That’s an increase of 33% from last season, and a record for a non-Breeders’ Cup Bing Crosby season.
“A terrific meet on all levels,” said Del Mar’s CEO, Joe Harper. “First and foremost, the horses and people who care for them were safe. Wagering, which fuels the industry’s economic engine, exceeded expectations and the racing product was once again topnotch.”
Seven graded stakes races made up the “fall turf festival,” and those races were run the final weekend of the meet. A total of 20 horses were shipped in from the East Coast to compete over Thanksgiving weekend. Noted EPO turf trainer Chad Brown had four winners including both Grade 1 races — the 1 1/8 mile Hollywood Derby with Domestic Spending and the 1 mile Matriarch Stakes for fillies and mares with Viadera.
Two-year-old filly Fluffy Socks also won for Chad Brown in the Grade 3 Jimmy Durante Stakes at 1 mile. Beer Can Man produced the biggest upset at 19/1 odds, winning Sunday’s 1-mile Grade 3 Cecil B. DeMille Stakes for trainer Mark Glatt.
Del Mar Safety and Stats
There have been no racing or training deaths at Del Mar since Sept. 5. With safety protocols in place, Del Mar matched Southern California’s other top track, Santa Anita, with no fatalities in the fall. The turf races are run on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Del Mar’s racing office is widely considered the best in California. Executive vice president of racing and industry relations Tom Robbins and racing secretary David Jerkens showed again why they run the best Thoroughbred meets.
Following a slow start, Del Mar’s 131 races in the fall meet produced an average field size of 8.1 runners per race. That’s an increase of 9.5% from 2019’s average, 7.4. Turf races were even stronger with an average field size of 8.7 horses.
“Outstanding support from our horsemen and horsewomen,” Tom Robbins said. “The racing was extremely competitive and, judging by our handle numbers, horseplayers responded. We raised purse levels prior to the meet and it’s gratifying to see that pay dividends.”
Jockey Abel Cedillo won 19 races during the 15-day meet to lead all riders for the second straight fall season. EPO trainer Richard Baltas also won the training title for the second straight Bing Crosby Meet with 11 winners.
Del Mar will look forward to fans returning to the racetrack hopefully next summer, leading into the 2021 Breeders’ Cup World Championships Nov. 5-6 at Del Mar. The beautiful seaside track hosted the record-breaking event for the first time in 2017 with much acclaim.