Racing at Del Mar

Racing at Del Mar

Benoit Photography

New Racing Secretary Among Del Mar Officials

David Jerkens joins veteran team of racing officials for 36-day meet.

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.

Returning for his 34th Del Mar meet will be DMTC's executive vice president, racing and industry relations, Tom Robbins, although he will no longer be serving as racing secretary as he has for 25 years. That post will be filled by David Jerkens, who joined the Del Mar team this spring after an extended stint in the racing department and as racing secretary at Golden Gate Fields. Jerkens, who grew up in a racing family, also had worked in the racing department of the New York Racing Association and brings a solid background to his new role.

Returning as assistant racing secretaries will be Zachary Soto, who will mark his 24th summer at the shore, and Tora Yamaguchi, serving his 12th season in the racing office. Soto has the additional assignment of stakes coordinator and Yamaguchi serves as a placing judge.

Veteran stewards Scott Chaney and Kim Sawyer will be joined this year by former rider and the track's former safety steward Luis Jauregui, who will be serving as a full steward for the first time at the meet.

Placing judges will be Robert Moreno, Merry Young and Yamaguchi. Patrol judges will be Sue Brent, Heather Correa and Ruben Hernandez. Karen Denovel will serve as paddock judge. Overseeing the jockeys' room again will be clerk of scales Charles McCaul, assisted by Chris Merz.

Other officials for the meet include Bridget Crawford, paymaster of purses; Melanie Stubblefield, clerk of the course; Dianne Piper, horse identifier; Russell Hudak, morning line maker and official timer; Victor Tovar, horseshoe identifier; Dr. Barrie Grant, official veterinarian, and Dr. Dana Stead, racing veterinarian.

Returning as head starter for the meet is Gary Brinson. This will be Brinson's 16th summer at Del Mar.