Top racetrack veterinarian Dr. Jack Robbins, a longtime breeder of Thoroughbreds in California and patriarch of an influential racing family, died the afternoon of Nov. 29 at his home in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. He was 93.
Del Mar was granted approval to conduct its first fall meet in more than 40 years by the California Horse Racing Board at the commission's regular monthly meeting Sept. 23.
Del Mar announced Aug. 1 that it will eliminate turf sprints and no longer conduct grass claiming races as part of its response to a rash of injuries on the new course, which was installed this past winter.
The important summer meetings at Del Mar and Saratoga Race Course each registered improved numbers compared with their 2013 seasons. Total handle was up at Del Mar; Saratoga saw total handle improve and a spike in attendance.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will kick off its 75th summer racing season July 17 with a new racing secretary and veteran team of other racing officials for the 36-day meet that runs through Sept. 3.
"Ship and Win," Del Mar's promotion to bring in out-of-state performers, has attracted hundreds of racehorses over the past three summers and is back for another season in 2014 with its lucrative incentives intact.
David Jerkens, currently the racing secretary at Golden Gate Fields, will relocate to Southern California in early June and assume the role of racing secretary at Del Mar, it was announced Jan. 30.
Following on the heels of a robust 2012 season, Del Mar did even better in 2013 with all key business categories finishing on the upswing as the track's 74th summer session came to a close Sept. 4.
Officials with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced Aug. 28 they will not adjust the final time for the 2013 TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I), won by a record 8 1/2 lengths by Game On Dude.
Two Del Mar Thoroughbred Club executives have been promoted "to reflect the organization's top-level leadership team's equal stature and balance."
Del Mar completed its 75th season with sizable increases in purses and on-track and all-source wagering, but attendance took a slight dip during the 37-day meet at the Southern California track that ended Sept. 5.
Barretts' paddock sale at Del Mar in Southern California offers a twist to the usual horses of racing age sale.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced April 20 that it will add two new juvenile turf stakes to its schedule in conjunction with the Oak Tree Racing Association during the upcoming meet.
Del Mar Turf Club reported that its "Ship and Win" program, in which horsemen bringing runners from out-of-state are rewarded with bonus payments when those horses start during the current meet, is proving successful.
Santa Anita plans to renovate its main track next month, adding sand to the composition during a remediation that is expected to last no longer than two weeks.
Del Mar will continue the so-called "Players Pick 5" bet instituted by Hollywood Park this spring and will add a few new twists to its wagering menu for the meet that begins July 20.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has announced a unique incentive program for this summer to encourage owners--both from inside and outside California--to bring horses to the state for Del Mar's 37-day meet beginning July 20.
As it has for the past two seasons, Del Mar again will offer 42 stakes races over the course of a 37-day summer meet that runs from July 20 through Sept. 7.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Club ended its 37-day meet Sept. 8 with a 4.2% increase in average daily attendance and a 6.8% decline in average daily wagering.
TVG's sponsorship of the Pacific Classic will help Del Mar maintain the major race's purse level. But the seaside track also announced that 13 stakes will take purse cuts for the 2010 summer meet.
The $1-million, grade I Pacific Classic will be repositioned to Labor Day weekend as the highlight of the 70th season of racing at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which will offer 31 stakes with purses totaling nearly $7 million. The meet begins Wednesday, July 22 and runs through Wednesday, Sept. 9.
A settlement has apparently been reached over a federal lawsuit involving a controversial California claiming rule, but racetracks in the state are scrambling to deal with the fall-out left from the suspension of the regulation.
Hoping to avert what one racing secretary called "open season" on the horse population in the state, the California Horse Racing Board took the unusual step of contacting a litigant who has put the board in a tenuous situation over a claiming rule.
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.
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.
The California Coastal Commission has approved plans by Del Mar to replace its dirt surface with a synthetic Polytrack, track officials said.
Del Mar's richest and deepest stakes program will feature 30 races worth $7,150,000 during its 67th summer racing season from July 19-Sept. 6.
In the ongoing battle over Jockeys' Guild medical coverage for California riders, the state horse racing board directed its staff to begin a forensic audit of the national organization's health care records.
For the second time in less than nine months, the California Horse Racing Board approved a 45-day public comment period for a series of rule changes that would replace the scale of weights assigned to horses starting in the state.
The Thoroughbred Owners of California, working in collaboration with California racetracks, has changed allowance conditions in an effort to increase the horse inventory and improve average field size.
Jockey Patrick Valenzuela will start from the rail aboard Summer Mayberry's Chester's Choice and Julie Krone will be aboard Bob Baffert's Woke Up Dreamin in Sunday's "Battle of the Sexes" match race at Del Mar.
Del Mar will offer turf sprints on a regular basis for the first time this summer when it opens for its 64th season on July 23.
The suspense leading up to the end of January wasn't whether the colt Vindication and the filly Storm Flag Flying would be voted champion 2-year-olds. They were. The suspense was whether the two unbeaten juveniles would be weighted above the standard weight--126 pounds for males and 123 for fillies--on the 2002 Experimental Free Handicap. They weren't.
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