Sprinters Having Plenty of Success on the Lead at Del Mar
A big weekend of racing is set at Del Mar, as the world’s No. 1 racehorse Arrogate tries to bounce back in the $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic following his poor performance last month in the San Diego Handicap. However, for those watching the races throughout the day and summer meet at Del Mar, you may want to pay attention to the sprint races.
Thus far during the Del Mar meet, 32 of 66 sprint winners have won the race in wire-to-wire fashion. That’s significant. In fact, 53 of 66 sprint races have been won by runners on or within two lengths of the lead at the half-mile pole.
Still, some trainers have not been kind in expressing their concerns about about a Del Mar track that has been deeper and slower than the past. However, the sprint results suggest the track has been running pretty firm and fast.
Another note is that foreign runners who made their last start outside of the United States are a combined 0 for 13 at Del Mar and still looking for their first win.
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The Del Mar stakes schedule has 41 stakes races during the current meet, including 5 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races which awards the winner an automatic fees-paid invitation to the 2017 Breeders’ Cup on Nov. 3-4 at Del Mar. All five races are for 3-year-olds and up, and the Clement L. Hirsch Stakes was a race for fillies and mares won by Stellar Wind, who has won 5 of her last 6 races with a lone defeat when 4th in last year’s sensational finish in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff won by Beholder over Songbird.
Saturday, Aug. 19 will feature 2 of those Breeders’ Cup Challenge races and includes the Pacific Classic.
Date Race Distance Purse BC Division Winner
7-29 Bing Crosby Stakes 6 Furlongs $300,000 Sprint Ransom the Moon
7-30 Clement L. Hirsch. 1 1/16 Miles $300,000 Distaff Stellar Wind
8-19 Del Mar Handicap 1 3/8 Miles (T) $250,000 Turf ?
8-19 TVG Pacific Classic 1 ¼ Mile $1,000,000 Classic ?
8-26 Pat O’Brien Handicap 7 Furlongs $200,000 Dirt Mile ?