Find Del Mar’s Stakes Schedule here.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Facts:
Del Mar Park, located 20 miles from San Diego’s busy downtown, was founded in 1937 by entertainment icon Bing Crosby. The crooner greeted the first fan at the gates, a star-studded beginning to what has become one of America’s most notable racetracks.
Del Mar has hosted historic races, such as the famous Seabiscuit-Ligaroti match in 1938. Seabiscuit won the grueling duel by a nose. Stars and politicians, such as Ann Miller, Don Ameche, Ava Gardner, Red Skelton, Dorothy Lamour, Crosby and Pat O’Brien, visited the track every summer and helped to bring it into the limelight.
During World War II, Del Mar was shut down and transformed into a training arena for the marines and a salvage yard for parts for the B-17 bomber.
In 1960, Del Mar unveiled a turf track with a length of 7/8th of a mile. This track was unique because it had a diagonally shaped chute that could either have a distance of 1 1/16th or 1 1/8th miles. Again, Del Mar had created a unique feature for horse racing.
In 1990, Del Mar continued to win bettors over as it led the nation with an average daily handle of $7,510,867. The Pacific Classic was introduced in that year and became the richest race in Del Mar history at $1 million. By 1992, the “new” Del Mar was finished as the former grandstand was rebuilt and placed beside the clubhouse. The renovations cost $80 million and included 505 farms. Presently, The Del Mar Fairgrounds hosts more than 350 events that attract an estimated three million visitors annually. The horse-racing facility is a part of the 350-acre, multi-use entertainment and exhibit arena. The facilities include 200,000 square feet of trade show and meeting space; a 15,000-seat grandstand; a 9,000-seat outdoor arena; a 100,000-square-foot satellite wagering facility; a one-mile racetrack; 1,800 permanent animal stalls; a 10-acre golf/tennis/retail outlet/RV park and the Del Mar horse park, a 64-acre equestrian facility.
Following the trend of tracks like Keeneland, Arlington Park, Woodbine and Turfway Park, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club opened its 2007 summer racing season with a new Polytrack surface on the main track. As mandated by the California Horse Racing Board, by 2008 all major Thoroughbred racetracks in California had installed synthetic surfaces on their main tracks. Both Hollywood Park and Santa Anita chose to install a Cushion Track, and Golden Gate Fields in Northern California has installed a Tapeta surface. However 2014 brought a new turf course and 2015 saw the re-introduction of dirt racing at Santa Anita.