DEL MAR, Calif. (Sept. 1, 2016) -- Fourteen stakes races worth just over $2 million will be offered during Del Mar’s third consecutive fall racing season that kicks off at the shore oval on Friday, November 11, which is Veterans Day.
The stakes roster, highlighted by a pair of Grade I events on the closing weekend of December 3 and 4, mirrors for the most part the previous two falls, all of which have been dubbed the “Bing Crosby Season” as a salute to the track’s founder and the rich history of old Hollywood that he embodied.
One of the changes from last year’s stakes schedule is the addition of the $200,000, Grade II Bayakoa Handicap for older fillies and mares on Saturday, December 3 to the lineup. Previously, the race had been run at Los Alamitos.
Conversely, Del Mar will not present three stakes it offered during the fall of 2015 because they have returned to the Santa Anita schedule. Those were the Golden State Juvenile Fillies, the Golden State Juvenile and the Goldikova Stakes.
Del Mar again will race on a four-days-per-week schedule of Thursday through Sunday during the meet once the three-day opening weekend is completed. The 15-day stand will have a first post of 12:30 p.m. daily with the lone exception of Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 24) when racing will begin at 11 a.m.
Due to purse trimming based on a recent reduction in handle during the fall sessions, the track and its partner in the establishment of purses – the Thoroughbred Owners of California – have further eliminated one stakes race and trimming the value of several others. The Desi Arnaz Stakes, a $100,000 sprint for 2-year-old fillies that was presented during the first two fall sessions, will not be offered this year, though it is hoped that it will return in 2017. Additionally, there will be $50,000 reductions in three stakes for older horses – the Hollywood Turf Cup (now worth $200,000), the Seabiscuit Handicap ($200,000) and the Native Diver Stakes ($100,000).
“We had to do some tucking and trimming,” noted Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins. “But in the end we’re pretty much offering our horsemen a very similar lineup to what they’ve seen here the past two years. We’ll have a big Thanksgiving weekend with six stakes and close out strongly in the first week of December with three of our best races.”
As they have been since the track’s fall sessions began in 2014, the Hollywood Derby and the Matriarch Stakes – both with purses of $300,000 – will anchor the conclusion of the fall stand. The Derby, which is 2014 vaulted star California Chrome to the title of Horse of the Year, goes on Saturday, December 3 at nine furlongs on the turf as one of the last major 3-year-old stakes of the year. The Matriarch, presented on closing day, Sunday, December 4, is for fillies and mares and run at a mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course.
All told, 10 of the 14 fall stakes are Graded – two at Grade I, three at Grade II and five at Grade III. Nine of the 14 will be presented on the turf.
The trio of Grade II stakes consists of the Hollywood Turf Cup for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one half on turf Friday, November 25; the Seabiscuit Handicap for 3-year-olds and up at a mile and one-sixteenth on grass Saturday, November 26, and the
Bayakoa at a mile and one-sixteenth on the dirt.
The complete list of stakes follows:
DATE RACE / CONDITIONS PURSE / DISTANCE
Fri. Nov. 11th Kathryn Crosby Stakes Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up, N/W S/S of$50,000 at 1 M o/o since April 1 $75,000 Added1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Nov. 12th Let It Ride Stakes Three-year-olds, N/W S/S of $50,00 0 at 1 M o/o since April 1 $75,000 Added One Mile (Turf)
Sun. Nov. 13th BETTY GRABLE STAKES Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds, Cal-Bred $100,000 Guaranteed Seven Furlongs
Sat. Nov. 19th BOB HOPE STAKES (Gr. III) Two-year-olds $100,000 Guaranteed Seven Furlongs
Sun. Nov. 20th CARY GRANT STAKES Three-year-olds & up, Cal-Bred $100,000 Guaranteed Seven Furlongs
Thu. Nov. 24th RED CARPET STAKES (Gr. III) Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up $100,000 Guaranteed 1 3/8 Miles (Turf)
Fri. Nov. 25th HOLLYWOOD TURF CUP (Gr. II) Three-year-olds & up $200,000 Guaranteed
1 1/2 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Nov. 26th SEABISCUIT HANDICAP (Gr. II) Three-year-olds & up $200,000 Guaranteed 1 1/16 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Nov. 26th JIMMY DURANTE STAKES (Gr. III) Fillies, Two-year-olds $100,000 Guaranteed
One Mile (Turf)
Sun. Nov. 27th CECIL B. DeMILLE STAKES (Gr. III) Two-year-olds $100,000 Guaranteed One Mile (Turf)
Sun. Nov. 27th NATIVE DIVER HANDICAP (Gr. III) Three-year-olds & up $100,000 Guaranteed 1 1/8 Miles
Sat. Dec. 3rd HOLLYWOOD DERBY (Gr. I) Three-year-olds $300,000 Guaranteed 1 1/8 Miles (Turf)
Sat. Dec. 3rd BAYAKOA HANDICAP (Gr. II) Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up $200,000 Guaranteed 1 1/16 Miles
Sun. Dec. 4th MATRIARCH STAKES (Gr. I) Fillies & Mares, Three-year-olds & up $300,000 Guaranteed One Mile (Turf)
Stakes Schedule Subject to TOC Approval