Thursday, March 29th, 2018   ( 6 months ago )

Del Mar Again Offers 41 Stakes at $7.3 Million for Summer 2018

Mirroring its successful 2017 summer stakes pattern, Del Mar will present 41 stakes races worth $7,300,000 over the course of the 36-day session scheduled for 2018. Racing alongside the blue Pacific this year will begin on Wednesday, July 18 and carry forward to Labor Day Monday, September 3 for what will be the track’s 79th season.

The seaside oval’s richest and most prestigious afternoon will come on Saturday, August 18 when the $1,000,000 TVG Pacific Classic will be served up for the 28th time as the highlight of a stakes-filled card.

Last year the seaside oval also presented 41 stakes worth $7.3 million during a 36-day run, underpinning one of its most accomplished seasons ever. The robust stakes schedule on both occasions offered/offers 33 “advertised” stakes carrying purses from $100,000 to $1,000,000 and eight “overnight” stakes worth $75,000 each.  

The advertised stakes include 21 graded events, six of them Grade I (the TVG Pacific Classic is one), 11 at Grade II and four at Grade III.

The Classic, which is the west’s only $1-million race for older horses, is run at a mile and one quarter for 3-year-olds and up. It tops a stakes tripleheader afternoon that also will offer the Grade I, $300,000 Del Mar Oaks and the Grade II, $250,000 Del Mar Handicap. The Oaks, for 3-year-old fillies, is run at nine furlongs, while the Handicap, an 11-furlong marathon, is for 3-year-olds and up. Both of those races will be contested over the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.

Nineteen of the stakes will be run on the grass with the other 22 on the main track. Del Mar’s turf course was expanded and totally replaced prior to the 2014 season, while the main track was returned to dirt (after an eight-year run with the synthetic Polytrack) in 2015.

“We’re very pleased to be able to offer the same stakes schedule as last year,” said Del Mar’s racing secretary, David Jerkens. “Some stakes programs across the country are declining a bit, but we are holding the line at Del Mar. We saw a lot of new owners and trainers here last fall because of the Breeders’ Cup and we heard a lot of positive reviews. We’re hopeful some of those outfits will be back for stakes races this summer.”

Though the schedule stays the same for value and timing, there are a few minor tweaks put in place for this year. One of them is with the distances of the track’s two main juvenile prep races for their premier 2-year-old offerings – the Del Mar Debutante and the Del Mar Futurity. The Deb prep – the $200,000 Sorrento Stakes on Sunday, August 5 – and the Futurity warm-up – the $200,000 Best Pal Stakes on Saturday, August 11 – both have been shortened in distance to six furlongs from their previous standard of six and one-half furlongs. Additionally, two California-bred races – the $100,000 Generous Portion Stakes for 2-year-old fillies and the $100,000 I’m Smokin Stakes for 2-year-olds – have both been restricted to non-winners of a stakes race of $50,000.

As in previous summer seasons, five of Del Mar’s key stakes have been scheduled as Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races, meaning a victory in any of them will guarantee the winning horse an entry – with all fees paid – in the corresponding Breeders’ Cup divisional race, along with a travel bonus if the horse is based outside Kentucky. One of the “Win and You’re In” races is the TVG Pacific Classic, which guarantees admission to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. Besides the $600,000 winner’s share of the purse, the victorious TVG Pacific Classic horse also has his or her pre-entry and entry fees to the BC Classic covered – a savings of $150,000 – as well as a travel bonus – either $10,000 (national) or $40,000 (international) – granted to a Breeders’ Cup horse (coming from outside Kentucky) for the capstone event of the Breeders’ Cup programs held at Churchill Downs this year on November 2 and 3.

Besides the TVG Pacific Classic, Del Mar’s other stakes with direct Breeders’ Cup ties are the $300,000, Grade I Bing Crosby Stakes on Saturday, July 28 (guaranteeing admission to the Breeders’ Cup Sprint); $300,000, Grade I Clement L. Hirsch Stakes on Sunday, July 29 (BC Distaff); the Del Mar Handicap (BC Turf), and the Grade II, $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes for 3-year-olds and up at seven furlongs on Saturday, August 25 (BC Dirt Mile).

The track once more will race five-days-per-week (Wednesday through Sunday) for the entire summer, finishing with a six-day week concluding on the Labor Day holiday. Post time throughout the session will be the normal 2 p.m. with the exception of Fridays (“Four O’Clock Fridays”) when the first race goes off at 4 p.m. for the first five of those days, then at 3:30 for the last two (August 24 and 31).

The complete list of stakes follows: 
     
DATE RACE / CONDITIONS PURSE / DISTANCE
Wed. Jul 18 OCEANSIDE STAKES
Three-year-olds, N/W S/S of $50,000 at 1 M o/o in 2018
$100,000 Added
1 Mile (Turf)
Fri. Jul 20 Osunitas Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S $50,000 at 1 M o/o in 2018
$75,000 Added
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Jul 21 SAN DIEGO HANDICAP (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles
Sat. Jul 21 SAN CLEMENTE STAKES (Gr. II)
Fillies, Three-year-olds
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Sun. Jul 22 EDDIE READ STAKES (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$250,000 Guaranteed
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Jul 22 Wickerr Stakes
Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S $50,000 at 1 M o/o since September 1
$75,000 Added
1 Mile (Turf)
Wed. Jul 25 COUGAR II HANDICAP (Gr. III)
Three-year-olds & up
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 1/2 Miles
Fri. Jul 27 REAL GOOD DEAL STAKES
Three-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Sat. Jul 28 BING CROSBY STAKES (Gr. I)
Three-year-olds & up
$300,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Sat. Jul 28 CALIFORNIA DREAMIN' STAKES
Three-year-olds & up, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Jul 29 CLEMENT L. HIRSCH STAKES (Gr. I)
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$300,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles
Sun. Jul 29 FLEET TREAT STAKES
Fillies, Three-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Wed. Aug 01 CTBA STAKES
Fillies, Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$100,000 Guaranteed
5 1/2 Furlongs
Fri. Aug 03 Daisycutter Handicap
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
5 Furlongs (Turf)
Sat. Aug 04 YELLOW RIBBON HANDICAP (Gr. II)
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Aug 04 GRADUATION STAKES
Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred
$100,000 Guaranteed
5 1/2 Furlongs
Sun. Aug 05 LA JOLLA HANDICAP (Gr. III)
Three-year-olds
$150,000 Guaranteed
1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Aug 05 SORRENTO STAKES (GR. II)
Fillies, Two-year-olds
$200,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Fri. Aug 10 SOLANA BEACH STAKES
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, Cal-Bred
$150,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Sat. Aug 11 BEST PAL STAKES (Gr. II)
Two-year-olds
$200,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Sun. Aug 12 RANCHO BERNARDO HANDICAP (Gr. III)
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$100,000 Guaranteed
6 1/2 Furlongs
Wed. Aug 15 CTT and TOC Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
1 3/8 Miles (Turf)
Fri. Aug 17 Green Flash Handicap
Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
5 Furlongs (Turf)
Sat. Aug 18 TVG PACIFIC CLASSIC (Gr. I)
Three-year-olds & up
$1,000,000 Guaranteed
1 1/4 Miles
Sat. Aug 18 DEL MAR HANDICAP (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$250,000 Guaranteed
1 3/8 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Aug 18 DEL MAR OAKS (Gr. I)
Fillies, Three-year-olds
$300,000 Guaranteed
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Aug 19 DEL MAR MILE (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Wed. Aug 22 Harry F. Brubaker Stakes
Three-year-olds & up
$75,000 Added
1 Mile
Fri. Aug 24 Tranquility Lake Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S $50,000 at 1 M o/o since February 1
$75,000 Added
1 Mile
Sat. Aug 25 PAT O'BRIEN STAKES (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Sat. Aug 25 SHARED BELIEF STAKES
Three-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile
Sun. Aug 26 TORREY PINES STAKES (Gr. III)
Fillies, Three-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile
Wed. Aug 29 GENEROUS PORTION STAKES
Fillies, Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred, N/W S/S $50,000
$100,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Fri. Aug 31 I'M SMOKIN STAKES
Two-year-olds, Cal-Bred, N/W S/S $50,000
$100,000 Guaranteed
6 Furlongs
Sat. Sep 01 DEL MAR DEBUTANTE (Gr. I)
Fillies, Two-year-olds
$300,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs
Sat. Sep 01 JOHN C. MABEE STAKES (Gr. II)
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up
$200,000 Guaranteed
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Sep 02 DEL MAR DERBY (Gr. II)
Three-year-olds
$250,000 Guaranteed
1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sun. Sep 02 DEL MAR JUVENILE TURF
Two-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Mon. Sep 03 DEL MAR JUVENILE FILLIES TURF
Fillies, Two-year-olds
$100,000 Guaranteed
1 Mile (Turf)
Mon. Sep 03 C.E.R.F. Stakes
Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S $50,000 since March 1
$75,000 Added
6 Furlongs
Mon. Sep 03 DEL MAR FUTURITY (Gr. I)
Two-year-olds
$300,000 Guaranteed
7 Furlongs