With one small change included, the 2016 Del Mar betting menu will mirror previous seasons’ full range of wagering opportunities when the seaside track begins its 77th season on Friday, July 15.
The 39-day meeting once more will have 14 different types of wagers offered, starting with the traditional win, place and show bets and expanding out to several five- and six-horse combinations. The menu also includes several notable “guarantees” among its exotic offerings, including the nation’s top Pick 4 promise of a minimum $600,000 pool on all weekends.
The meet runs over eight weekends and – after its Friday through Sunday opener – will be presented primarily on a Wednesday through Sunday, five-days-a-week schedule which will provide betting pools that are among the biggest and best in the country. Last summer’s daily betting average was more than $12 million each day, while the track’s field size was 8.8 horses per race, placing it among the elite in those categories nationally and providing strong incentives for players shopping for good wagering opportunities.
The lone tweak to the betting agenda will be an adjustment to the popular Pick Six wager, a $2 bet on the day’s final six races that has provided fans with some of the largest jackpots offered in the sport. Previously, a Pick Six payout saw the pool divided 70% to the winner(s) or carryovers and 30% to consolations, but under Del Mar’s 2016 experiment with it the pool now will be carved at 85% to winner(s) or carryovers and 15% to consolations. The track believes the adjustment will enhance winning payouts and carryovers on the bet, two strong marketing tools that provide excitement and drive both handle and attendance.
The Pick 4 – offered on the final four races on the card – is a .50¢ minimum bet. Its $600,000 weekend guarantee is the largest of its kind in the country, while all weekday cards will offer a healthy $300,000 guarantee on the wager. Additionally, for the track’s signature race day – the 26th running of the $1,000,000 TVG Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 20 – the Pick 4 guarantee will be boosted to $1,000,000. There also will be a guaranteed Pick 6 pool of $250,000 that afternoon.
Another multiple-race wager on the agenda is the .50¢ Players’ Pick 5, up for grabs on the day’s first five races and available at a reduced takeout rate of 14%.
The full array of Del Mar bets is as follows: $2 win, place and show (all races); $1 Exacta (all); $2 Quinella (all); $1 Trifecta (all); $2 Rolling Doubles (all except last); $1 Rolling Pick 3s (all except last 2); $1 Superfecta (.10¢ minimum) (all); $1 Place Pick All (starts w/ Race 1 or 2); $1 Super High 5 (last); $2 Pick 6 (last 6); .50¢ Players’ Pick 5 (first 5), and .50¢ Pick 4 (last 4).
First post daily during the meet will be at 2 p.m. with the exceptions of “Four O’Clock Fridays” when starting time shifts to 4 p.m. (except for the final two – 8/26 and 9/2, at 3:30 p.m.), which enables racing to run until sunset followed immediately by a rock band putting on a show on the grounds. Del Mar’s final day of racing will be Labor Day Monday, September 5.