The Summer Stakes Schedule at Del Mar is set and what a doozy it will be. During the 39-day racing season, a grand total of 43 stakes races will be run, and they will be worth a combined $7.55 million. The summer meet will start on July 15th and will run until September 5th.
Once the opening three-day weekend is complete, the regular schedule will see races run five days of the week, Wednesday to Sunday, for the majority of summer, and it will be capped off with a six-day racing week that will take place during the Labor Day holiday.
Purses for the major 33 stakes races will range from $100,000 to $1,000,000. The other 10 overnight stakes are worth $75,000 each. The projected purses for each day will exceed $525,000, which is a record for California.
The highlight of the meet will be the $1 million Pacific Classic (gr. I), which will be held on August 20th. Also featured that day will be the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (gr. IIT) and the $300,000 Del Mark Oaks (gr. IT).
Twenty stakes races will run on the turf course, which was recently replaced and expanded. The reaming 23 stakes races will run on the main course, which is once again a dirt course after eight years of Polytrack.
“We made some small tweaks this year, but for the most part we’ve got our usual highly anticipated stakes schedule lined up for the summer of 2016,” said Del Mar Executive Vice-President for Racing Tom Robbins. “We moved a few stakes around and adjusted the values on several others to reflect our overall purse situation, but for the most part our horsemen and fans are going to find that Del Mar schedule they know and have come to love. Our stakes schedule has featured 43 stakes most recently. We’re back with that same number again.”