DEL MAR, Calif.— Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will present its eighth fall race meeting – officially titled the Bing Crosby Season in a salute to the seaside track’s founder – with 18 major stakes and a pair of overnights worth a record $3,550,000 planned during a 15-day session starting on Wednesday, November 3.
Del Mar will be hosting the 38th edition of the Breeders’ Cup Championships during its fall stand with 14 major races worth more than $31 million slated on Friday, November 5 and Saturday, November 6. The track had previously been home to the Breeders’ Cup in 2017.
A highlight of the session will be its two Grade I offerings on closing weekend, the Hollywood Derby and the Matriarch Stakes. Each will carry a value of $400,000, the highest sum ever for a stakes race at the shore oval outside of the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic.
Twelve of the major stakes are Graded – two Grade Is, four Grade IIs and six Grade IIIs. The track has put an emphasis on grass racing during its previous fall stands and that holds true once more with 11 of the stakes, including the last seven, all contested on the deep Jimmy Durante Turf Course. Those seven turf tests will be conducted during Del Mar’s final weekend, staring on Thanksgiving Thursday, November 25 and continuing through closing day on Sunday, November 28.
“This is the best fall stakes schedule we’ve ever presented,” said DMTC vice president and racing secretary David Jerkens. “The success of Del Mar racing over the past two years has allowed us to partner with our horsemen and horsewomen in this robust schedule. We think it will be an attraction to good horses from across the country.”
The track’s two premier stakes will be presented on its closing weekend – the Grade I, $400,000 Hollywood Derby for 3-year-olds at nine furlongs on grass Saturday, November 27 and the Grade I, $400,000 Matriarch Stakes for fillies and mares at a mile on the green on Sunday, November 28.
Additionally, closing weekend also will offer the Grade II, $250,000 Seabiscuit Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one-sixteenth on turf Saturday, November 27 and the Grade II, $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one-half on the lawn on Friday, November 26. Both of those races have had their values increased by $50,000 from previous runnings.
Racing will be conducted Wednesday through Sunday in Week 1, then Friday through Sunday in Weeks 2 and 3 before finishing with a Thursday through Sunday session in the final Week 4.
First post daily will be 12:30 on all racing days with the exceptions of the Breeders’ Cup Days and Thanksgiving. The first race on Breeders’ Cup Friday goes off at 11:55 a.m., while the first on Breeders’ Cup Saturday begins at 10:15 a.m. The Thanksgiving Day card will have a first post of 11 a.m.
As in past years, Del Mar’s racing office plans to card eight races during its weekday cards and nine for the weekend programs.
The complete list of stakes follows:
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Press Release
Photo: Del Mar Starting Gate, (Benoit)