07/13/2014 9:18PM

Big fields for opening day, including 13 for Oceanside

Barbara D. Livingston
Diamond Bachelor, a two-time winner at Del Mar last summer, heads the field of 3-year-olds for the opening-day feature, the Oceanside Stakes.

DEL MAR, Calif. – Fueled by high purses, a wider turf course, and the eagerness to race at Del Mar, a total of 123 horses were entered Sunday for the 10-race opening-day card on Thursday at Del Mar.

 There were at least 12 runners entered in eight of the 10 races, including an overflow field of 13 in the traditional opening-day feature, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, a one-mile grass race for 3-year-olds. The field is headed by Diamond Bachelor, who won twice on this course last year at age 2, including a stakes. His rivals include Aotearoa, Enterprising, and Northern California stakes winner G G Ryder.

 A maximum of 12 can run in the Oceanside, so Sammy Mandeville wound up on the also-eligible list.

 Del Mar’s turf course was widened since last year. There are three grass races on Thursday, and at least the maximum of 12 was entered in all three races.

 But the real difference will be seen in turf sprints. Friday’s races also were drawn on Sunday, and that card includes a five-furlong grass sprint that drew 10 runners, including the highly regarded but oft-absent Caracortado. In years past, turf sprints were limited to seven runners.

 The first 2-year-old maiden race of the meet is on Thursday, with 14 California-breds entered in the sixth race over five furlongs. A maximum of 10 can run in the race. Maiden special weight races at Del Mar, like that one, are worth a whopping $75,000.

 Thursday’s card begins at 2 p.m. Pacific. Per usual, the first race, a $10,000 claimer, will be run at one mile, so the race can begin in front of a partisan crowd ready for action 45 weeks since the horses last raced here.

 Rafael Bejarano, the leading rider at Del Mar the past two summers, returns to action on Thursday and has mounts in seven of the 10 races. Bejarano broke a collarbone, a rib, and both shoulder blades in an accident on Santa Anita’s turf course on May 10.

 This will be the first of two meets at Del Mar this year. There also will be a brief meeting in November, with Del Mar having picked up some of the dates formerly run by Hollywood Park at that time of year.

 That fall meeting will be the last one for Del Mar on its current Polytrack surface. The track will then switch back to dirt in advance of its 2015 summer meeting.

Merrill More than 1 year ago
Del Mar is a cool meet, but it does not, and never will hold a candle to the class, history and stature of Saratoga. People should stop trying to compare the two.
jon g More than 1 year ago
Del Mar is better for the every day racing. Spa is better on their big days
Walter More than 1 year ago
Big fields? Evd boasts big fields too! The opening day card has 4 bottom rung claiming races. Where have you gone SoCal racing?
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Evan More than 1 year ago
please visit www.stoppostingspamonrandomcomments.com
Geral John Pinault More than 1 year ago
Shout out to Rafael Bejarano! Have a happy, safe and rewarding meet at Del Mar!!! - RAMMER
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Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
Please go the f$%k away.
Daniel More than 1 year ago
Why the crowing for 13 entries in the Oceanside? The last few years they've had over 20 entries and it's been run in divisions.
slewof damascus More than 1 year ago
the quality of this field sets it apart from any Oceanside run in the last decade, whether run in divisions or not. That's worth crowing about, imo.
jon g More than 1 year ago
I agree,and it's a 12 horse race this time
Mark More than 1 year ago
Yard Line
Evan More than 1 year ago
If he can transfer that last mile on the SA main track to turf he'll be long gone...
Shawn Britton More than 1 year ago
Delmar = top notch meet. Many other racetracks can learn alot from delmar track officials and as always it's located in one of the best cities in america, can't wait for BC in 2017!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a great venue, no doubt nothing like 11am sitting outside in the Delmar Grandstand handicapping Saratoga and watching the Ocean. But... racing there is not as good.
Jackson Jackson More than 1 year ago
The grandstand faces away from the ocean :) LOL.
jon g More than 1 year ago
You called out that troll,lol
Richard Castro More than 1 year ago
Christmas Day is opening day 4 the adult crowd at Del Mar...
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Chris Lowe More than 1 year ago
BWscouting More than 1 year ago
Hooray for Horse Racing!! I enjoy all the SoCal tracks!!!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A not for profit orginazation? Please explain.
Stephen Mercier More than 1 year ago
think PBS of racing
Evan More than 1 year ago
I'll try my best to explain. There is no profit....
Walter More than 1 year ago
Then who profits from all of the high priced parking, admissions, food drinks, & everything else they can put a price tag on? Did you know the NFL is also considered a non profit too? Food for thought
Bob Marr More than 1 year ago
Bring back the dirt. So glad they are changing back... wish it was for this year.