03/28/2003 12:00AM

Few alterations to Del Mar stakes


Del Mar has made only minor revisions to the stakes program for its 43-day summer meeting from July 23 to Sept. 10, changing the dates of some major stakes, the conditions of two races for California-breds, and adding $50,000 from the Breeders' Cup to the purse of the Palomar Handicap for fillies and mares on turf.

The richest race of the meeting is the $1 million Pacific Classic over 1 1/4 miles on the main track for older horses on Aug. 24. The $300,000 Del Mar Oaks will be run on the Pacific Classic undercard instead of being the feature race on the preceding day, as in recent seasons.

"We have rarely tried to group major races on the same day and we're trying to experiment this year," said director of racing Tom Robbins. "It certainly is a departure from what we've done at Del Mar. We thought this could be something that could work."

Two races for 3-year-old statebreds - the Fleet Treat Stakes for fillies and the Real Good Deal Stakes - will no longer be run for nonwinners of a first place purse of $50,000 twice. The races are run without conditions so the first three finishers can receive stakes accreditation, Robbins said.

The purse for the Palomar Handicap on Sept. 7 is worth an additional $50,000, to $200,000, with the money dedicated to horses eligible to the Breeders' Cup program.

The date of the Best Pal Stakes has been moved from a Wednesday to Sunday, Aug. 17 to accommodate a telecast on ESPN, Robbins said.