Del Mar Fairgrounds is one of the three tracks that host racing in Southern California, the other two being Santa Anita and Los Alamitos. Located 20 miles outside San Diego, Del Mar has been the scene of many great moments in horse racing history. Del Mar meets in the summer and fall just as California racing heats up. The mile-long track is one of the largest horse racing venues in the West and was the site of the Breeders' Cup in 2017. Both average fans and ones seeking an upscale experience can enjoy a day at the races at Del Mar. Del Mar is easily identifiable by the unique tan stucco grandstand that is near the blue Pacific Ocean. The track opened to great fanfare in 1936, and now it is the location for many graded stakes races. There are six Grade I stakes races at Del Mar, and the track has several races that are notable for 2-year old racehorses. Pick up your Del Mar racing tickets at StubHub.
What is the richest race at Del Mar?
The Pacific Classic is a Grade I stakes race that began in 1991. It is held every year in August and is one of the primary races in the lead up to the Breeders' Cup. In fact, any horse that wins this race is automatically guaranteed a spot in the $6 million Breeders' Cup Classic. The race attracts a field of horses 3 years old and up who race a mile and a quarter.
What is a dominant performance in Del Mar history?
In 2018, Accelerate was fast on the way to becoming a special racehorse. He stopped at Del Mar to run the Pacific Classic and did a number on the field. Accelerate did exactly that, blowing away the field by over 12 lengths to win going away. Later in the season, he won the Breeders' Cup Classic after sweeping his way through Southern California racing in the summer and fall.
What was a dramatic upset at Del Mar?
In 1996, Cigar was an incomparable and invincible racehorse. He was in the midst of a 16-race unbeaten streak when he breezed into Del Mar for the Pacific Classic. He had never lost at the 1 1/4 mile distance. Dare and Go was a former champion who was seemingly on the downslope of his career. Dare and Go's stablemate Siphon went to the front with Cigar and wore down the champion racehorse. Then, Dare and Go passed a tiring Cigar to pull one of the biggest upsets ever in horse racing.
Why is there a Bing Crosby Handicap?
The Bing Crosby Handicap is one of Del Mar's Grade I stakes races, and it is named after the legendary singer. Crosby himself was on hand for the opening day of racing at Del Mar and greeted the first fan ever to cross through the gates. There are many ties between Crosby and Del Mar as he was a founder of the track and a racehorse breeder himself, and the November meet is named after the crooner. The Bing Crosby Stakes is one of the premier sprint races in the country at six furlongs.
Who is the greatest jockey in Del Mar history?
Racing fans today are hardly familiar with the legendary Bill Shoemaker, but he was dominant in his day. Shoemaker won practically every major race at Del Mar that was held in his career and in 1970, he became the all-time leading jockey at the track. Other legends such as Chris McCarron and Victor Espinoza have been based in Southern California during their riding careers.Back to Top
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