Del Mar’s second “Bing Crosby Season” gets a jump start to its 20-day session when the seaside track serves as the California host of the 32nd edition of the Breeders’ Cup, a two-day run of championship events that this year will be held at Keeneland in Lexington, Kentucky.
The Breeders’ Cup days – Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 – come right on the heels of the track’s opening on Thursday, October 29. Opening Day will see Del Mar present nine races starting with a first post of 12:30 p.m. But Friday the track will offer races from Keeneland beginning at 9:30 a.m. (Pacific) in addition to a nine-race Del Mar card starting at 12:45 p.m. On Saturday, there will be 12 races from Keeneland with the first off at 8 a.m. (Pacific), as well as nine local tests, again starting at 12:45 p.m.
The first of Keeneland’s four Breeders’ Cup races (BC Juvenile Turf) on Friday goes off at 12:30 p.m. (Pacific) and the first of their nine Breeders’ Cup races (BC Juvenile Fillies) on Saturday runs at 9:05 a.m. (Pacific). On both days, Del Mar will initially run its live races in between Breeders’ Cup events, then finish up the day with its own races going off approximately every half hour.
The 13 Breeders’ Cup races carry purses of $24.5 million. Their featured event Friday is the $2 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Saturday’s headline BC contest is the nation’s richest race, the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
On the Breeders’ Cup days, Del Mar will open its gates at 9 a.m. on Friday and 7:30 a.m. on Saturday.
Del Mar’s local top offering on Friday will be the $200,000 Golden State Juvenile, a seven-furlong dash for 2-year-olds bred in the state. Saturday’s local headliner will be the $75,000 Let It Ride Stakes for 3-year-olds going a mile on the turf course.
Saturday’s very early start to racing activities at the track will add some extra buzz to the “Daybreak at Del Mar” gathering, the track’s popular breakfast program that is held in the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant overlooking the main track. The breakfasts, which are conducted with an ideal view of the Thoroughbreds going through their morning workouts, run from 8 to 10 a.m. on all Saturdays with no admission charged.
Del Mar also will be one of the satellite locations for players participating in the Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge, the richest live bankroll handicapping contest in the country that requires a $10,000 buy in. Players keep their bet winnings and are eligible for estimated prizes of $800,000, as well as entries into the National Handicapping Championship in Las Vegas in January with its estimated $2.5 million purse. Information on the contest can be found at www.Breederscup.com/BCBC
The “Bing Crosby Season” will continue forward to Sunday, November 29 with racing conducted on a Thursday-through-Sunday basis each week.