For the 10th straight time, Del Mar will present its fall race meeting – called the “Bing Crosby Season” in honor of the track’s iconic founder – starting this coming Friday and going forward to a Sunday, December 3 finish.
Racing will be conducted over 13 days on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday basis each week with the lone exception to the routine being a Thanksgiving Thursday card on November 23. First post daily will be 12:30 p.m., though that will shift to 11 a.m. for the Turkey Day program.
Opening weekend will feature a trio of stakes, starting Friday with the $75,000 Let It Ride overnight stakes for 3-year-olds at a mile on the turf.
The fall session’s full stakes schedule – 13 major stakes and two overnights over the course of the four-week stand – will offer more than $2-million in purses highlighted by a pair of $300,000 Grade I headliners on closing weekend, the Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on turf (Saturday, Dec. 2) and the Matriarch Stakes for older fillies and mares at a mile on the lawn (Sunday, Dec. 3).
The final two weeks of the session will feature eight stakes on grass worth $1.4 million, a “turf meet” inside the regular meet that has proven to be a substantial lure to good grass runners from across the country in previous seasons.
The track will offer its usual complement of betting options and this meet will see the return to a “classic” Pick Six that will feature the comeback to the traditional 70-30 daily payout and the elimination of the previous “single-ticket jackpot” portion of the wager. It will be a $1 bet with carryovers that often quickly move into the million-dollar range. All told there will be 16 different ways to invest in the track’s daily program, starting with win, place and show bets and running out to a series of “exotic,” or multiple bets on every race on the card.
Del Mar will offer a variety of special events on track over the course of the meet. There will be a Veterans Day salute combined with a special College Day program on Saturday, November 11. There will be an “Uncorked: Derby Days Wine Fest” on Saturday, November 18 and the annual “Toys for Tots Toy Drive and Ride” that the track hosts in conjunction with the U.S. Marine Corps on Sunday, November 19. Thanksgiving Day (November 23) will present an early 11 a.m. first post and a special “Thanksgiving Brunch,” then on Friday, November 24 there will be a “Beer & Cider Fest.” Finally on December 2 there will be the return of the “Ladies & Gents Holiday at the Races,” a pop-up gift bazaar that has proven popular in previous showings.
On Fridays, all seniors receive free admission, a program and a seat, while all Sunday’s offer “Free & Fun Sundays” that provide free admission with a 40% discount on special food and beverage offerings. Sundays also provide “Taste of the Turf Club” for those wanting to enjoy a special brunch in the track’s high-end location.
For the fourth year in a row, top race caller Larry Collmus will be in the booth for the course of the season.
The track will present eight races on all weekdays and nine events on all weekend cards throughout the session.