09/01/2013 5:32PM

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.

Horse Cents More than 1 year ago
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.
Carlon C. C. Rogers More than 1 year ago
Del Mar consistently beats Saratoga in the avg horse per race stat. With the widening of the turf course they will easily average of 9.25 horses per race
J Vette More than 1 year ago
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.
IRANIANMULLAH More than 1 year ago
it's that damm polytrack
Carlon C. C. Rogers More than 1 year ago
One of the main reasons for the carryovers is the attraction for the owners to win at Del Mar. Look at the HUGE class droppers in claiming races. Also, trainers are instructed by the owners to get their horse sharp for Del Mar. If you want to succeed at Del Mar, start watching replays 6-8 weeks prior to opening day and identify horses that are being given "live race workouts" prior to Del Mar. Your "winning favorites" stat is "NOT AT ALL IN CONGRUENCE WITH THE FACTS" 2013 DEL MAR SEASON Winning favorites — 103 out of 328 — 31.40% Winning favorites on Polytrack — 70 out of 234 — 29.91% Winning favorites on turf — 33 out of 94 — 35.11% Winning odds-on favorites — 26 out of 41 — 63.41% In-the-Money favorites — 207 out of 328 — 63.11% In-the-Money odds-on favorites — 38 out of 41 — 92.68%
Lenny Mamola More than 1 year ago
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 !!!!!!
IRANIANMULLAH More than 1 year ago
they want the carryover that's why they do it. also throw in a few $20,000 claiming races on turf with 12 starters. guaranteed caryover
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
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?
Carlon C. C. Rogers More than 1 year ago
Would never get past the Coastal Commission
zerosumzen More than 1 year ago
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.
mikey More than 1 year ago
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.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
They also have a Lot of six horse fields in allowances and some stakes. That is a problem.
Andy Dean More than 1 year ago
I don't want to come off as a know it all because I'm not, but have you ever heard of punctuation, proof reading and proper sentence construction Mikey?? Google "run on sentence" and "incomplete sentence". It's okay to read over your post before hitting the button. Maybe it's the result of our wonderful "education system" for the last 20 years or so, but there didn't used to be this lack of common proper English. It drives me crazy like fingernails on a chalkboard. Yeah, I remember chalkboards. too. What are you trying to communicate? And as far as the TVG guys go, they are a necessary component of the sport in the modern era. I actually get a kick out of their little double entendres and attempts to one up each other. Also, I've found that the most self-effacing one of the bunch is Paul Lo Duca. Moreover, he's most knowledgeable if you bother to listen and read between the lines. His insights into breeding and things like the deep and tiring nature of the Calder racing surface have helped me in my handicapping very much. Thanks Paul!
mikey More than 1 year ago
Paul Lo Duca was a 250 hitter at best.His handicapping is not much better.However chasing the ladies he is in the Ted Williams class.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
We don't exactly know where he lays his cash. They have to go over the entire field of every race and come up with a pick. He may be decent. Everyone looks like an amateur when they have to come up with a pick or have an opinion in every race.
mikey More than 1 year ago
Listen close they say something about every horse.Then after the race they sat i told you he had a chance.They leave out the 50-1 shots.The oldest trick at the track.The HRTV crew is much better.I would love to see them go head to head for the breeders cup.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I like Paul and Simon. I can do without Todd. Matt Caruthers is hands down the best handicapper at TVG.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Rich Perloff hit the pick six this year and had it posted for everyone to see. He is the best to me he takes email. I like that about him he is willing for people to call him out a little and he can be a little nasty back. Gino is goofy but just listen to him his insights are pretty good.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I like Rich as well. Gino I have to mute. I just can't stand to hear him ramble. every horse he's liked forever. Seems like a cool kid, but just to annoying for me.
John More than 1 year ago
What a great comment about three idiots from TVG. Worthless talking heads!
Mike More than 1 year ago
I could not agree with you more about the idiots from TVG. Todd Schrupp's appeal is to the high school crowd. He is downright annoying. He is constantly making senseless observations of no value . He has no handicapping ability and comes off as a buffoon. I think he has a crush on Paul LaDuca. Simon Bray is a bust out trainer and a terrible tout.When he likes a horse I immediately eliminate it from my ticket. LaDuca is tolerable and does posses some ability. Schrupp and Bray need to go.
IRANIANMULLAH More than 1 year ago
I found the best time to listen to those people are when they interview the horsess connections. They seem to win very often. second first time starters, they know more than us what's going on behind the scenes. The rest, you are correct we seem to be better , hoeer I beleive they don't give us everything. Arlington Million week, That Jon White was told by Mr. Ramsey that his horse is so good he wanted to race him against Frankel. White did not tell us that. He won the Arlington Million at 10-1. White syas he bet $1,000 to win on that insider info.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
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.
awillywit More than 1 year ago
well said. Health, progress, and big fields.
Carlon C. C. Rogers More than 1 year ago
What horse racing needs in general and what works best at Del Mar are two separate issues. No track gets more young people to the track than Del Mar. And its not just on concert nights. The number of children that previously went to the track with their parents and are now "race-going" young adults continues to grow. Del Mar has woven itself into the cultural fabric of the San Diego area. It's different than say, somewhere like Saratoga where young people may have gone on a summer vacation with their parents but now in their 20's can't afford to make that trip. It's just a different dynamic. I'm amazed, for instance, by the number of young people that come to Del Mar maybe 5-10 times a season, that feel they must put in a pk6 ticket! To them it's like a lottery with a party!
Bob More than 1 year ago
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!
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
The switched to 7 on Friday to accommodate less daylight. They ran 8 on Fridays most of the meet.
Carlon C. C. Rogers More than 1 year ago
My suggestion would be to run 11 races every Saturday. The pk5 and pk6 would not overlap on the biggest day of the week
thomas j More than 1 year ago
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.
Lenny Mamola More than 1 year ago
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 ????????????????
mikey More than 1 year ago
Longer meet not more races every day.