Del Mar renewed its emphasis on turf racing for its Bing Crosby Season, announcing a stakes schedule going deep on the seaside track’s Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
Aside from the Nov. 5-6 Breeders’ Cup returning to Del Mar for the first time since 2017, the track features 18 stakes races. Twelve of those stakes are graded, and 11 of those go on the Durante turf course.
Those include the last seven stakes races and both Grade 1s on the slate, the Hollywood Derby and the Matriarch Stakes. Both are $400,000 races and both run on closing weekend, Nov. 25-28. Del Mar’s 15-day Bing Crosby Season opens Wednesday, Nov. 3.
The Nov. 27 Hollywood Derby sends its 3-year-olds 1 1/8 miles on the grass. The Nov. 28 Matriarch Stakes sends its 3-year-old and up fillies and mares a mile on the turf.
“This is the best fall stakes schedule we’ve ever presented,” Del Mar Thoroughbred Club vice president and racing secretary David Jerkens said in a statement.
Aside from the two Grade 1s, Jerkens wrote four Grade 2s and six Grade 3s. Two of the Grade 2s run closing weekend: the Nov. 26 Hollywood Turf Cup and the Nov. 27 Seabiscuit Handicap. The Hollywood Turf Cup sends its 3-year-olds and up 1 ½ miles. The Seabiscuit takes the same age group 1 1/16 miles. Both races enjoyed a $50,000 purse bump, to $250,000.
The emphasis on turf racing became a Del Mar standard during the previous seven seasons of the Bing Crosby Season, as Del Mar officially calls its fall meet. The name honors the founder and longtime patron of the San Diego-area track.
Del Mar-Key Bing Crosby Season Stakes Races
|Nov. 5-6||Breeders’ Cup World Championships||I||Various||Various|
|Nov. 6||TAA Stakes||II||1 5/8 miles||3-and-up|
|Nov. 6||Goldikova Stakes||II||1 mile (turf)||3-and-up fillies & mares|
|Nov. 26||Hollywood Turf Cup||II||1 1/2 miles (turf)||3-and-up|
|Nov. 27||Seabiscuit Handicap||II||1 1/16 miles (turf)||3-and-up|
|Nov. 27||Hollywood Derby||I||1 1/8 miles (turf)||3-year-olds|
|Nov. 28||Matriarch Stakes||I||1 mile (turf)||3-and-up fillies & mares|
Track officials said they plan on writing eight races during the weekday cards and nine for the weekend. Del Mar will run five days (Wednesday-Sunday) during its opening week, cutting to Friday-Sunday for weeks two and three. Closing weekend will run Thursday (Thanksgiving) through Sunday.