Del Mar will conduct its 81st summer racing season between July 10 and Sept. 7 featuring a 38-race stakes schedule offering more than $5.5 million in purses. The meet kicks off on a Friday and will feature the traditional Opening Day headliner, the $100,000 Runhappy Oceanside S.
The overall stakes slate consists of 32 stakes that carry purses of no less than $100,000, along with six overnight stakes, each worth $65,000. Twenty-one of the stakes are graded–six at Grade I, 11 at Grade II and four at Grade III.
The $100,000 Shared Belief S. (Aug. 1) for 3-year-olds will take on added importance this year as it will serve as a significant stepping stone to the GI Kentucky Derby, which due to COVID-19 has been rescheduled to run on Saturday, Sept. 5. The Shared Belief has been lengthened from one mile to a mile and one-sixteenth and now will offer Kentucky Derby qualifying points (50-20-10-5) to the first four finishers.
“It’s nice to offer local horseman who have horses on the Kentucky Derby trail the option to stay home and not have to ship out of town to earn Derby qualifying points,” said Tom Robbins, the head of Del Mar’s racing department in his role as executive vice president of racing. “Overall, I’m happy to report we’re presenting a very similar stakes schedule that our horsemen have been used to over the past several years. We again will feature a blockbuster TVG Pacific Classic Day card with five graded stakes in one afternoon. And, certainly, to offer 38 stakes over 28 days of racing is impressive anyway you look at it.”
In addition to the 30th running of the GI $500,000 TVG Pacific Classic, the Saturday, Aug. 22 card also will showcase the GI $250,000 Del Mar Oaks; the GII, $200,000 Del Mar H.; the GIII, $100,000 Torrey Pines S. and the GIII, $100,000 Green Flash H.
The track’s other Grade I tests are the $250,000 Bing Crosby S. Aug. 1; the $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch S. Aug. 2; the $250,000 Del Mar Debutante Sept. 6, and the $250,000 Runhappy Del Mar Futurity Sept. 7.
As in previous summers, five of the track’s key stakes have been scheduled as Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races. The TVG Pacific Classic is a “Win and You’re In” race that assures entry into the $7 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.
The other four “Win and You’re In” races are the Bing Crosby (guaranteeing admission to the $2 million BC Sprint); the Clement L. Hirsch ($2 million BC Distaff); the Del Mar H. ($6 million BC Turf), and the GII Pat O’Brien S. Aug. 29 ($2 million BC Dirt Mile.)
Del Mar will race on a Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule throughout the meet, while adding in a closing day Monday, Sept. 7, which is Labor Day. First post daily will be 2 p.m.
Click here for a complete stakes schedule.