Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Statement Concerning Turf Course
Del Mar is deeply saddened by the loss of Thoroughbred lives we have experienced at the track since the start of our season. Four of those losses have come on our new turf course. Despite that, we continue to have the utmost confidence in the course, as do our partners in this race meet -- the Thoroughbred Owners of California, the California Thoroughbred Trainers, the Jockeys’ Guild and the California Horse Racing Board – all of whom have expressed that confidence to us today.
Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, Del Mar will shift the two turf races scheduled for Sunday’s card off the course and run them instead on our main track. Additionally, we will move up scheduled maintenance on the turf course to Saturday evening instead of the Sunday evening schedule that had been planned. The entire course will be aerated and watered starting on Sunday. Track crews will work on it for the next three days and, in the end, reposition the inner rail at the 18-foot position.
Track officials feel that they are adjusting on the side of caution with these moves. They are meant to give all parties involved – riders, trainers, owners and fans – assurance that everything possible is being done to ensure the track’s first priority, which is safety of horses and riders. Those same officials feel strongly that when racing resumes on Wednesday, the turf course will perform in a positive fashion.