Two-year-old runners will have additional incentives to shoot for this summer at Del Mar as the track will have bonus programs centering on freshman stallion Runhappy, as well as a unique package for all juveniles in its maiden special weight division.
The Runhappy arrangement is the culmination of a two-year sponsorship Del Mar established last year with owner and breeder Jim McIngvale.
If able to win one of Del Mar’s $50,000 maiden special weight races, offspring by Runhappy will receive an additional $100,000 bonus.
“I think you’ll see his babies running off the charts at Del Mar and I’m looking forward to rewarding those people who cash in on him early,” McIngvale said.
The shore track’s “Juvenile” bonus is aimed at encouraging Southern California’s smaller outfits–trainers with 60 or fewer horses in their care–to take shots in Del Mar’s maiden special weight races.
The bonus adds 25% on top of all winning purses, meaning all placings from first through fifth, in maiden special dirt races.
Two-year-olds who have raced elsewhere and ship in to Del Mar to run get the added benefit of being eligible for the track’s “Ship & Win” monies, meaning a $2,000 check just for starting, then a 20% bonus on all purse monies earned for finishing anywhere from first to fifth.
“We’re hoping to get owners and trainers with 2-year-olds from out-of-state interested when they see the monetary incentives,” said Del Mar’s executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins. “At the same time, we’re encouraging our local owners and trainers to go to places like Kentucky and Florida and bring back 2-year-olds that could be double earners under our arrangement.”