04/07/2017 1:06PM

Del Mar boosts incentive to attract out-of-state horses


Del Mar has increased its incentive program to lure horses from out-of-state or international circuits to the track’s summer meeting from July 19 to Sept. 4.

This summer, the track will pay owners a $1,500 bonus to start horses from outside of California who have not raced in the state in the last 12 months. The bonus has been increased from $1,000 in past years.

The track will continue to pay a 30 percent bonus to owners whose horses earn prize money in their first California starts in overnight races. That bonus is not applicable for horses making their first starts in California in stakes. First-time starters are not eligible for any bonuses.

The bonuses, known as the Ship and Win program, began in 2011 and have been a boost to field sizes, track officials said. The bonuses have drawn stables from outside of California to race at Del Mar and have resulted in owners acquiring runners from other circuits or countries.

Many of those horses have stayed on the circuit, providing a boost to races at state tracks.