Norma Jean B., a double “Ship & Win” winner from 2021. © Benoit Photo
Del Mar will offer its richest “Ship & Win” program yet in 2022, the 12th year the seaside track has used its unique incentive to lure out-of-state horses to come be part of the local scene. The strategy has proven a roaring success so far with nearly 1,900 runners signing on over the previous 11 seasons.
This year the ‘S & W’ enhancements have been taken up another notch to a $5,000 starter bonus and a 50% purse supplement for any dirt runner. Additionally, turf horses earn a $4,000 starter fee and a 40% purse bonus.
The purse bonuses extend to additional starts at the summer meet and are designed to increase all purses won by first through fifth finishers. Further, should a ‘S & W’ horse be claimed out of its first outing and subsequently run back at the meet, the original owner will receive all bonuses.
“This has proven to be an exceptional program for Del Mar and California racing,” said David Jerkens, a Del Mar vice president and its racing secretary. “We strengthen our fields each summer with “Ship & Win” horses and the majority of them stay on and race in the state. Our local owners and trainers bring us the bulk of these out-of-state runners and our partnership with Santa Anita on this has worked very well.”
Here are the simple rules for ‘S & W’ horses:
- Guaranteed $5,000 check for any qualified starter in their first dirt start (stakes included).
- 50% bonus applied to qualified horse’s purse earnings for every dirt start of the summer meet (stakes excluded).
- Guaranteed $4,000 check for any qualified starter in their first turf start (stakes included).
- 40% bonus applied to qualified horse’s purse earnings for every turf start of the summer meet (stakes excluded).
- Purse bonus applies to earning for placings 1 through 5. If an eligible horse is acquired after its initial ‘S & W’ start, the original owner will receive purse bonuses from subsequent starts for the balance of the meet.
- Horses cannot have raced in California for the past 12 months, regardless of ownership changes. Horse’s previous start must have taken place outside of California and first-time starters are not eligible.
- Purse bonuses will extend to a horse that makes its initial ‘S & W’ start in May or June at Santa Anita. Further, that same horse may make up to two starts during that period and still have its purse benefits extended through the Del Mar summer meet.
- Horses that make their initial ‘S & W’ start during the Del Mar summer meet will have their purse benefits extended through the Santa Anita fall meet.
- Del Mar Thoroughbred Club reserves the right to determine eligibility for qualified starters.
“This has been an across the board winner for California,” said Thoroughbred Owners of California Chairman Gary Fenton. "My two favorite aspects are always that a) our owners are the biggest recipients of the bonus and b) there is a benefit to the entire ecosystem as up to 10% of Santa Anita’s field size is made up of 'Ship & Win' graduates. There isn’t a more lucrative way to bring horses to California."
Earlier this month Del Mar announced the richest summer schedule – both for purses and stakes – in its storied history. It will pay out over $800,000 a day in overnight purses during the 31-day stand and present 34 major stakes worth $8,275,000.
Del Mar will conduct is 83rd summer session from Friday, July 22 to Sunday, September 11. It will open with a three-day weekend (July 22, 23 and 24), then have five four-day weeks (Thursday through Sunday), a five-day week (including Labor Day Monday, September 5) before finishing with a Friday-through-Sunday weekend (September 9, 10 and 11).