Water, designed to keep Del Mar's Polytrack more consistent from morning to afternoon, also led to three track records opening day, July 16, at the Southern California track. The five races carded over the synthetic surface were run at four different distances, with new marks set at 5 1/2 furlongs, six furlongs and a mile.
Racing's photo-finish camera was invented for and first used at Del Mar -- and as Thoroughbred fans know, there are photo finishes virtually every day at the track, some of them so tight the phrase "won by a whisker" is literally true.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California board of directors has unanimously endorsed the negotiating model created by the Thoroughbred Horsemen's Group, and has authorized the THG to represent the TOC in future simulcast negotiations, including in advance deposit wagering negotiations.
With the racing industry being scrutinized in the area of track safety, the seventh annual Track Superintendent Field Day conference at Keeneland June 2-3 seemed an especially timely opportunity for questions to be answered by synthetic-track maintenance professionals from around the country.
Maggi Moss's Indian Chant set his sights on a victory in the $125,000 Aristides Stakes (gr. III) at Churchill Downs and would not be denied, holding off a bid from the late-closing Noonmark to win the May 31 event by a nose.
Nominations close May 30 for Del Mar's two premier stakes for 2-year-olds -- the Del Mar Debutante for fillies and the Del Mar Futurity for all juveniles. Both are grade I events.
A request for an additional 1% takeout hike to help pay for facility improvements at Alameda County Fair, the heir apparent to the closing Bay Meadows, hit a wall of opposition before the California Horse Racing Board May 20.
Josh Rubinstein has been named the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's vice president for development, it was announced April 25.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has added three new members to its board of directors and announced Betty L. Mabee, a board member since 2002, will now serve in the role of director emeritus.
Experts from all avenues of the racing industry presented statistics and opinions on synthetic surfaces and Santa Anita track president Ron Charles said the track will replace its Cushion Track as a six-hour special meeting called by the California Horse Racing Board (CHRB) concluded Feb. 20.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, back-to-back winner of the Pacific Classic (gr. I) and the Hawthorne Gold Cup (gr. II) in 2007, looks to rebound from an eighth-place finish in the Japan Cup Dirt (Jpn-I) when he heads a field of nine in the $250,000 San Antonio Handicap (gr. II) at Santa Anita Feb. 9.
Perhaps no other sport is as bound to tradition as racing Thoroughbreds. From the sheer length of its history, to the grand old venues in which it takes place, to the top-hatted and red-suited bugler calling the horses to post, racing loves its time-honored habits.
HRTV's "Inside Information" featuring owner Maggi Moss and jockey Joe Talamo.
Millennium Farms' Student Council, preparing for a start in the Nov. 24 Japan Cup Dirt at Tokyo Racecourse, worked a half-mile in :49 on the training track at the Quarantine Center at Shiroi, Japan, Nov. 17.
Fred Bradley's homebred Brass Hat tuned up for a Nov. 23 engagement in the $500,000 Clark Handicap Presented by Norton Healthcare (gr. II) by working five furlongs in 1:00.60 under jockey Willie Martinez Nov. 16.
Riding on to the track at Santa Anita for the last race of the Oak Tree meet Nov. 4, leading rider Tyler Baze will flip shaded goggles down over his eyes and take a deep breath of the fresh, dry air, and will think of how close he came to losing this, the one pursuit he loves most in life.
The parent company of TVG reported a record handle of $148.5 million for the third quarter of 2007, and announced a new wagering partnership in New York during a Nov. 1 conference call with analysts.
Wildfires continued Oct. 23 to threaten homes and horse farms in Southern California, particularly in San Diego County. Scoop Vessels' Vessels Stallion Farm is among the facilities that have taken in evacuated people and horses, even while a new fire has broken out just east of the farm near Bonsall, Calif. Del Mar racetrack has taken in evacuees when the fires, and its barn area was full by Oct. 22, with 2,000 horses and livestock.
Despite surrounding property being ravaged by wildfires that have spread throughout Southern California, it was business as usual Monday, Oct. 22, at the Mabee family's Golden Eagle Farm in Ramona, near San Diego.
Santa Anita racetrack will unveil racing over the Cushion Track surface Sept. 26 when the Oak Tree Racing Association begins its 39th season.
He's saddled starters in several different countries, hoisted trophies at tracks from Santa Anita to Belmont Park, and trained champion horses to victory in the world's top races, but trainer Doug O'Neill came full circle at a bullring track Sept. 9 when he saddled the 1,000th winner of his career during Fairplex Park's 16-day meet.
Del Mar closed its 2007 meeting Sept. 5 - and its first with a synthetic surface - with its second-highest gross handle ever and a small increase in attendance, the Southern California track reported.
California fairs offer a realistic option for horse racing's future at a time when two major racetracks in the state are facing redevelopment and other privately held venues are pressured by stockholders for greater revenue returns amid escalating property values.
John Shirreffs, not comfortable running Tiago on the Del Mar Polytrack, has decided to scratch the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) and Swaps (gr. II) winner from the 1 1/4-mile Pacific Classic (gr. I).
Scientific Games has been awarded the contract to provide pari-mutuel wagering equipment and services for the California Horse Racing Industry, the company announced Aug. 14.
Nearing the midpoint of its 43-day season with a new Polytrack racing surface in place, Del Mar officials reported increases Aug. 10 in handle and attendance -- and no catastrophic breakdowns on the synthetic main track.
Warren Stute, a popular Thoroughbred trainer on the Southern California circuit for nearly 70 years, died Thursday at his home in Arcadia, Calif. He was 85.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - The only master that should count is the horse and his safety.
A poker tournament will be held at the Del Mar Hilton Aug. 16 to benefit Noe Garcia, the groom for Lava Man who was seriously injured in an automobile collision July 23 near the racetrack.
Michael Baze, who led all riders at Hollywood Park and is atop the current Del Mar standings, was thrown in the first race at Del Mar Sunday when his mount, Lyrical Sound, broke down in the stretch of the 1 1/16-mile turf race.
Training time was shortened on the Del Mar Polytrack by nearly an hour Thursday morning after a horse working on the track slammed into the safety rail at the eighth pole and tore up part of it.
Permits in place, Golden Gate Fields plans to begin construction of its new Tapeta Footings racing surface July 23, track general manager Robert Hartman said.
Santa Anita Park announced July 12 that long-time track superintendent Steve Wood will leave his position at the Arcadia, Calif., track affective July 15 in order to devote more time to his other industry obligations.
TVG will kick off the 2007 season at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club with live on-site coverage beginning July 18. TVG will broadcast live from Del Mar throughout the meet's opening week and every weekend, Friday through Sunday, until the season's conclusion Sept. 5. Special programming will include live editions of some of TVG's most popular shows and exclusive airings of several of the summer's premier Thoroughbred races.
Del Mar plans to fine tune its entry procedure this summer but maintain the same routine for scratches during its 43-day shore racing season that is off and running on July 18.
Nominations close June 1 for Del Mar's two premier stakes for 2-year-olds, the Del Mar Debutante (gr. I) for fillies and the Del Mar Futurity (gr. I).
- By Mark Popham
Martin Collins, the creator of the Polytrack artificial surface, admitted to having faced problems in North America in an interview with a British monthly racing magazine.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will serve up its richest and most prestigious stakes schedule ever during a 43-day stand between July 18 and Sept. 5. Just as it did last summer, the seaside gem will feature 30 major stakes events but they will be worth a record total of $7.25 million.
Longtime California breeder Peter Whiting died March 20 of cancer in Fort Bragg, Calif. The English native, who moved to the U.S. in 1948, was 76.
C.P. (Mac) McBride has been named Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's director of media.
Del Mar officially broke ground Jan. 31 for the installation of a Polytrack surface, which will replace the main dirt track of the Southern California oval.
The California Coastal Commission has approved plans by Del Mar to replace its dirt surface with a synthetic Polytrack, track officials said.
California, which has the highest number of graded stakes of any racing state, will have four new grade I races in 2007, as a result of a meeting Nov. 30 of the American Graded Stakes Committee.
Fueled in part by all-source handle declines at such meetings as Del Mar, Arlington Park and Monmouth Park, overall wagering on United States racing in the third quarter of 2006 dropped by nearly $7 million.
- By Ray Paulick
By Ray Paulick - Increased distribution along with the convenience of telephone or Internet betting resulted in double-digit increases of advance deposit wagering handle in 2003-2005. Del Mar reported a 24% increase one year ago, which makes this year's 7% drop all the more puzzling -- and alarming.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club gained unanimous approval Sept. 12 to install an $8 million synthetic surface from the board of directors of the agricultural district that oversees the seaside track.
Clair W. Burgener, who served on the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club board of directors starting in 1986, died Sept. 9 of complications from Alzheimer's disease.
Del Mar officials said the second half of the Southern California racetrack's 43-day meet helped offset on-track declines caused by unusual heat and humidity early in the season.
Horse Greeley, a homebred son of Mr. Greeley, charged to the lead coming out of the turn and won the Del Mar Futurity (gr. II) on closing day Wednesday at the seaside Southern California track.
Embattled jockey Patrick Valenzuela, who hasn't ridden since the conclusion of the spring/summer meet at Hollywood Park July 16, was given clearance to resume exercising horses Sept. 7 after meeting with Del Mar stewards the morning of Sept. 6.
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