It may be a few years down the road, but there’s a chance the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club could host a future Breeders’ Cup World Championships.
Craig Fravel, president and chief executive officer of Breeders’ Cup, confirmed the Southern California track had proposed that with a few changes and improvements, it could be a viable facility to hold the event.
“They submitted an expression of interest to be considered as a potential site with a variety of background material about the facilities and community,” Fravel told The Blood-Horse Feb. 7.
While Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., is slated to host this year’s Breeders’ Cup in November, future host sites for the event have not yet been chosen.
Del Mar’s “declaration of interest” in hosting the Breeders’ Cup was submitted to Fravel in the form a 52-page document.
Craig Dado, Del Mar vice president of marketing, said the earliest Del Mar could host the Breeders’ Cup would be 2015, providing several funding obstacles are cleared.
"The Breeders' Cup folks have apparently gone out to several racetracks with similar inquiries (to see if they would want to host a future Breeders' Cup)," said Dado. "We were happy we made their list and were glad to give them a positive response."
The biggest renovation Del Mar would have to make in order to be considered as a Breeders' Cup site involves widening its Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
"We would need to expand our turf course in order to meet their requirements of having the capacity to run 14-horse fields," explained Dado. "Currently, our grass layout will not safely allow for more than 10 horses in a race. However, we are in the process of securing the funding and the permitting to widen the course to hold 14 runners per race. We expect the cost to be in the neighborhood of $3 million for that project."