03/30/2016 12:36PM

Del Mar trims $400K from summer stakes schedule


Del Mar has cut $400,000 from its stakes schedule for the summer meeting, which runs July 15 to Sept. 5, and will offer 43 stakes races worth $7.55 million, according to a statement released Wednesday.

In 2015, the track offered $7.95 million in stakes over the same number of races. The meeting opens on a Friday this year rather than a Thursday, as in recent seasons.

The richest race of the meeting is the $1 million Pacific Classic on Aug. 20, the only seven-figure race of the season and one of six Grade 1 races. The race could draw California Chrome, the winner of the Dubai World Cup last Saturday.

The Grade 2 Eddie Read Stakes on July 16 was reduced the most in value, going from $400,000 in 2015 to $250,000 this year. The Eddie Read, run at 1 1/8 miles on turf, has been downgraded from a Grade 1 to a Grade 2 race this year.

The Eddie Read is one of 15 stakes on the schedule with smaller purses than last year.

The track’s 10 overnight stakes have been reduced by $5,000 each to $75,000. Four other races have been dropped by $50,000 – the John Mabee Stakes for fillies and mares on turf and the Pat O’Brien Stakes for sprinters will be worth $200,000 each, while the Fleet Treat and Real Good Deal stakes for statebred sprinters will be run for $150,000 each.

The Mabee has been moved from early August to Sept. 4, while the $200,000 Yellow Ribbon Stakes for fillies and mares on turf has been moved from early September to July 16, the first Saturday of the meet. The $100,000 El Cajon Stakes for 3-year-olds on Aug. 26 has been renamed the Shared Belief Stakes in honor of the late champion 2-year-old male of 2013.