04/10/2013 3:06PM

Del Mar: ‘Ship and Win’ bonus increase

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Del Mar plans to increase its bonus incentives for out-of-state horses to record levels for its upcoming meeting from July 17 to Sept. 4.

The track’s “Ship and Win” program will offer a 33 percent bonus for purse money earned in overnight races by horses that made their last start outside of California. The bonus applies only to the first start of the meeting and does not include stakes runners. To be eligible, horses cannot be first-time starters and must not have run in California in the preceding six months for the same owner or ownership group. In addition, a $1,000 bonus will be paid to the owner of the horse. The $1,000 bonus applies only to the first start of the meeting, and it does include stakes.

The “Ship and Win” incentive program has been credited with providing the Southern California Thoroughbred circuit with much-needed additional runners. In 2011, the first year of the program, there were 107 horses eligible for the bonuses, a figure that rose to 137 in 2012. The program paid a 20 percent bonus the first year and 25 percent last year.

Some of those horses were claimed and remained in the state. Others were purchased privately by California-based owners to compete on the circuit on a long-term basis.

◗ Mario Pino will accept the George Woolf Memorial Jockey Award in a winner’s circle ceremony between races this Sunday at Santa Anita.