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Del Mar's Strong Beginning Continues Through Week Two
Del Mar’s 78th summer season continued its positive trend as Week 2 results provided strong gains in all wagering segments. The seaside track also produced another set of high-quality, five-day-a-week racing cards with robust field size.
The July 26 to July 31 second stanza of the seven-week run saw 43 races presented drawing a total of 373 horses, an average of 8.67 per race. After two full weeks of racing, Del Mar’s has offered 88 races and lured 775 horses to them, meaning the average field size is now 8.8 for each race, above last year’s standard of 8.3 and also above the national average that sits below eight horses a contest.
Wagering remained strong as meet-to-date average daily handle through the second week was 8.1% ahead of the average daily wagering for the comparable period of the 2016 summer season. As was the case after Week 1, all four betting departments – on-track wagering, inter-track wagering, advanced deposit wagering and out-of-state wagering – registered gains over last year.
“We’re very encouraged with the first quarter of our race meet,” said DMTC’s racing secretary David Jerkens. “The support from our horsemen at the entry box has been outstanding. The racing has been highly competitive, our stakes (there have been 12 through the first 10 days) have been exciting affairs and both our horses and our trainers are loving what our new director of track maintenance (Dennis Moore) has done with his tweaks to our main track.”
Jerkens also noted that the track’s successful “Ship & Win” program continues to do well as it draws more horse to Del Mar, many of which become regulars on the Southern California circuit. Through the first 10 days of the meet, “S&W” horses totaled 33 starts as opposed to 24 through 10 days last year.
Del Mar’s exotic players have had big targets to shoot for at the session. There have been a series of substantial Pick Six prizes spurred on by the competitive racing. Four of the first 10 Pick Six pools have resulted in carryovers that have led to major payouts. Additionally, the track’s new “Jackpot” Pick Six pool – where a single winning ticket is required to take down the prize – has now risen to a hefty $441,293 and growing heading toward its mandatory payout day on August 19 when the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic will be run.