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Del Mar to consider adding races to 2014 summer meeting
DEL MAR, Calif. – Del Mar officials will consider expanding the racing schedule for the track’s 2014 summer meeting after field sizes showed a notable increase at the current meeting, which ends Wednesday.
Track President Joe Harper said Sunday that adding races to the existing 37-day calendar would be a likely option instead of adding racing days. “It certainly is a thought, just seeing how strong the entries have been for most of the meet,” Harper said. “I think it’s something we need to talk about.”
Through Saturday, Del Mar had averaged 8.75 runners per race through 34 days of racing. Last year, the entire meeting averaged 8.66 runners per race. The highest average field size at Del Mar in the last 20 years occurred in 1995, with 9.01 runners per race.
At the current meeting, Del Mar typically has run eight races on weekdays, 10 on Saturdays, and nine on Sundays.
The track will have a different calendar in 2014, with the addition of a four-week November meeting. The track is scheduled to run four days a week that November.
For the 2014 summer season, Harper said that adding races, likely to weekday programs, would be easier than adding racing days, such as Mondays.
“I think there is more wiggle room,” he said. “You could add a race here and there.”
Additional racing days would require months of preparation, he said, not only for owners and trainers planning campaigns for their horses, but for the track’s front office, in the form of marketing and publicity.
The track has not raced on Mondays on a regular basis since 2008, a cutback caused by the recession and a decline in the population of Thoroughbreds in Southern California. The current inventory of horses in Southern California is approximately 3,000.
“We have to look at the economics of it,” Harper said of additional racing days. “It’s an expensive thing to do, but if there is a need for it, it’s intriguing. It’s got to be planned for the whole meeting.”
Director of Racing Tom Robbins said he is reluctant to plan significant changes for 2014 until the issue of auxiliary stabling on the circuit is resolved. The barn area at Betfair Hollywood Park is scheduled to close in early 2014, forcing about 1,000 horses to be relocated to Fairplex Park, Los Alamitos, and San Luis Rey Downs. There is a possibility that the horse population could decline, with runners being sent to other circuits.
Robbins described 2014 as “uncharted territory, with Hollywood shutting down. After the meeting, we’ll sit down and discuss the possibilities. It’s hard to see what our population will do.”
The current meeting will have 328 races, the same as last year. In 1996, when the track ran six days a week over 43 days, there were 392 races, with an average field size of 8.53 starters per race.
For the final days of the current meeting, Del Mar followed a racing schedule similar to 2012, with 11-race programs on the Saturday through Monday of Labor Day weekend and 10 races on Wednesday’s closing day. There could have been more. Several races over the weekend were oversubscribed to the extent that enough horses were excluded to create additional races.
I find it interesting that with all the complaintsof short fields in southern CA, the logic to add races is based on "how strong the entries have been." According to their math, field sizes have increased .09 per race. 9/100th horse per race. Yea, let's add races, that's the ticket.
Del Mar sucks...ever seen so many carryovers ??? What's that tell you....IMPOSSIBLE to handicap. Winning favorites around 23%, what a joke, please add more days to Del Mar, means less days of playing. IDEA: let's turn horse racing into a lottery, that's what it's coming to with P-4,5, & 6's. It's fun betting a maiden race with Baffert having 2 or 3 entries uncoupled. Racing is really becoming a joke, thank you to the SUITS who are totally non-fan friendly.
AND !!!!! The pick 6 is a handicapping venture QUIT putting first time 2- 3 year old maiden races into it ......................... How do you handicap non starters?????? Yes some are hot articles but it isn't correct to put them in the 6...............PERIOD !!!!!!
Said it before, but Southern Cal has basically four months of racing available -May, June, and most of November and December- to any business initiative willing to start a new track. I would look at Malibu, or the area between Malibu and the 101. In my opinion it's about horse racing PLUS location. When given a choice between two tracks, one in a crappy part of town, and another by the seaside, guess where most people prefer to go. Building a track is a lot cheaper than building a football stadium... Where have the Bing Crosby's gone?
Del Mar probably would add two weeks if they could, but their hands are tied with the Del Mar (or San Diego) Fair, which ran from June 8 to July 4th this year and will be on a similar time table next year. The racing meet starts two weeks later. And they need that time to prepare; to clean up the mess after the Fair, as in evening out elephant tracks.
The way they send it in why not.Hugh pools in the pick 4-5 and 6.You can go there for races and then a concert not like the SPA.The clubhouse you can be comfortable and not where a jacket The best weather in the country.The only bad thing is the 3 idots from TVG.
Bad ideal. Horse racing needs less races bigger fields, bigger purses in 3up route division through out the year. Adding more Allowances and maiden claiming races,will not attract more younger people to track. 2 million dollar Woodward, 3 million dollar Pacific classic will bring more people to Tv screen then to the betting window. Horrible decision.
If you are going to have overlapping serial bets like the Pick 4, Pick 5 and Pick 6 you need to run at least 9 races on a card....This article is incorrect. Del Mar hasn't been running 8 races on weekdays; 10 on Saturday and 9 on Sunday...They have been carding 8 races on Wednesday and Thursday; 7 on Friday and 9 to 11 races on weekends. The post-time for the first race is equally inconsistent. The track needs to decide on a fixed number of races and a fixed post-time and be done with it...they are all over the map like a schizophrenic school girl and it is annoying as hell!...and that 7 race card on Friday has GOT to go!
Adding races makes for too long a day for everyone: fans, jockeys, trainers, employees. Add 2 weeks in July. Santa Anita will have too long a season.
Don't get the public tired of races use your heads about that...just add a week or two....My god 9 races is plenty and what about some of the riders ????????????????
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