The 2017 summer schedule at Del Mar has been released by the San Diego County racetrack and the 36-day season will feature 41 stakes races worth $7.3 million. The summer meet at Del Mar is scheduled to kick off on July 19 and will run through to September 4.
The most prestigious (and richest) day of the meet will take place on August 19. On that day at Del Mar will see the 27th running of the TVG Pacific Classic (G1). Last year’s TVG Pacific Classic saw two-time Horse of the Year winner, and now retired, California Chrome dominate in a five-length victory. The Pacific Classic card will also feature the $250,000 Del Mar Handicap (G2T) and the $300,000 Del Mar Oaks (G1T).
The summer meet at Del Mar will be a precursor for its fall session and holds extra significance this year with the 34th annual Breeders Cup World Championships being held at Del Mar. Five stake races have been designated as Breeders’ Cup “Win and You’re In” races: the TVG Pacific Classic, $300,000 Bing Crosby Stakes, $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Stakes, Del Mark Handicap, and the $200,000 Pat O’Brien Stakes.
Many of the top horseman around the world will want to enter as many summer races at Del Mar in order to gain extra preparation for their runners pointed towards the Breeders’ Cup, which will take place on November 3rd and 4th.
Del Mar will offer 33 advertised takes with purses ranging from $100,000 to $1 million, and eight overnight stakes each with a purse of $75,000. A total of 21 of the 33 advertised stakes will be graded: six grade one races, 11 grade two races, four grade three races.
“For the most part, this is the traditional Del Mar stakes schedule that’s been a popular presentation for us for the last decade,” said Del Mar Racing Secretary David Jerkens. “Our horsemen know it and like it. Our fans do, too. It’s a case of a perfect racetrack axiom: you stick with a winner.”
The summer meet will kick off on a Wednesday and will feature racing five days each week (Wednesday through Sunday). With the final week being a six-day race week that will run through Labor Day weekend.