By Mac McBride/DMTC News
DEL MAR, Calif.—On the heels of a record-breaking summer meet, Del Mar’s 2022 racing calendar closed strongly this past weekend as the track’s fall meet, the Bing Crosby Season, offered world-class turf racing, strong field size and safe racing. Total handle in 2022 was $744.68 million, a record amount wagered on Del Mar’s races in a non-Breeders’ Cup year.
Total handle for the four-week, 13-day fall session was $164.85 million with an average daily of $12.68 million, a 4.3% decrease from 2021, when Del Mar’s fall race meet hosted the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships.
“We’ve been building momentum over the last few years, working hard to create a wonderful experience for racing fans and the horsemen and women who support our program,” said Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s CEO, Joe Harper. “While the business results are positive, we are exceptionally proud that we’ve been able to maintain our status as one of the safest racetracks in the country.”
Del Mar’s horse recruitment initiatives, led by the track’s popular Ship & Win program, continue to bolster the racing product and helped increase fall meet field size to 7.91 runners per race as compared to 7.76 in 2021. A total of 515 starters participated at Del Mar in the summer and fall of 2022 due to these horse recruitment efforts. Del Mar officials expect the majority of these runners will continue to compete in future Southern California race meets.
The track’s autumn Turf Festival again drew high-class runners from across the country to participate in the nine stakes that were offered over the final two weekends of the meet.
With a closing day burst of six winners on the nine-race card, jockey Flavien Prat won his sixth Del Mar riding title by booting home 24 firsts in 86 mounts, an exceptional 36% win rate. Trainer Phil D’Amato captured 19 races during the 13-day session and took home his fourth Del Mar title.
“Once again, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club showcased world class racing with an exemplary safety record,” said Thoroughbred Owners of California chairman, Gary Fenton. “They also contributed to our ecosystem by investing in industry beneficiary funds like ‘Ship & Win.’ It is great to partner with a track operator that consistently goes above and beyond what is required. Del Mar continues to show horsemen they want to be a big part of our future.”
Racing will return to Del Mar next July for the track’s 84th summer season.