History abounds at Del Mar!

Earlier Times
Click to enlarge

Film Legend Betty Grable
presents trophy at Del Mar

The seaside track opened on July 3, 1937 with its founder, Bing Crosby, personally greeting the patrons. Their  theme song, recorded by the legendary celebrity  in 1938, is still played at the start of every race day.
click to hear original recording
Where The Turf Meets The Surf At Del Mar

Get in the mood for a big season at Del Mar 
Click here to listen to a 45-1 shot win at Del Mar August 4, 1961.
(American Association of University Women's Purse)
Crescent Prince - John Cantarini, up

 On August 12, 1938
Seabiscuit put Del Mar on the national map
with his thrilling decision over Ligaroti in a special match race.
 He broke the track record by 4 seconds in what was to become one of the most controversial races of all time.

These seldom seen pictures of Seabiscuit
were taken at Del Mar at a time leading up to and during  the thrilling  match race.
The photos and original recording  are courtesy of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

1.) Seabiscuit unloaded from van by Trainer Tom Smith
2.) Workout before match race
3.) Stretch run - Seabiscuit and G. Woolf on rail with Ligaroti and Spec Richardson outside
4.) After race - Seabiscuit with George Woolf, up and trainer Tom Smith

Eight days after winning the Del Mar Handicap,
on Labor Day 1967,
California's beloved Native Diver
colicked at Bay Meadows and
was rushed to the equine hospital at the University of California at Davis. 
His intestinal track could not fight off the enterio toxemia
that had attacked his system,
 and early the next morning,
  Native Diver died.

Del Mar's marvelous climate, ocean breezes
and Spanish-style architecture are just some of the things that have made the prime vacationland the most popular race track in America.

Their high percentage of winning favorites,
and  thrilling share of long-shot winners, continue to make
Del Mar  a handicapper's dream.   
 Two world records have been set there:
Crazy Kid's 6 furlongs in 1:07.4 and Soldier Girl's 5 furlongs in :56.2.

July 17, 2000

For additional information, contact Mac McBride/858-792-4269 or mac@dmtc.com


The sounds of music jazz music will fill the Wednesday night air for the 10th straight summer at Del Mar after the races when the track presents another edition of its highly popular series "Jazz at Del Mar."

Headed by performances by Charlie Haden's Quartet West, Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham's Sweet Baby Blues Band and the combined talents of singer Brenda Russell and guitarist Stanley Jordan, the series begins on August 2 and runs through September 6. "Jazz at Del Mar," sponsored by Heineken in cooperation with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, will be presented free to racegoers in the Plaza de Mexico just inside the main grandstand gate following the day's last race.

Leading off the series will be the local favorites The Steely Damned, the San Diego-based band led by Bob Tedde which has kept alive the music of the 1970s rock group Steely Dan. This year's appearance marks the group's sixth during the series' 10-year tenure. Under Tedde's energetic and devoted leadership, the band -- an all-star assortment of Southern California musicians -- has drawn raves for its passionate and faithful handling of the music of Steely Dan in each of its appearances.

On August 9 a very different sound will be centerstage when Charlie Haden's Quartet West makes its first Del Mar appearance. Led by the cool and cerebral Haden, who ranks among the very best of jazz bassists, Quartet West will offer fans a first-class taste of "straight ahead" jazz on the track's outdoor stage.  Joining Haden in the Los Angeles-based group are Ernie Watts on tenor saxophone, Alan Broadbent on piano and Larance Marable on drums. Haden, Watts and Broadbent are the originals in the group, while Marable has replaced the group's original drummer, Billy Higgins.

Smooth jazz guitarist Joyce Cooling is next up on the guest list August 16 for her initial seaside outing. But the Bay Area performer doesn't restrict herself strictly to the "smooth." Since her musical inspirations range from Brazilian guitarist/singer/composer Joao Bosco to Texas bluesman Stevie Ray Vaughan, it's not unusual for Cooling to romp through jazz, pop, funk and rhythm and blues at one sitting.

There'll be blues aplenty for the fourth concert in the series on August 23 when Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham bring their Sweet Baby Blues Band to the shore podium. The Cheathams' band is no stranger to "Jazz at Del Mar," having appeared on four other occasions during the life of the series. The Cheathams will come with an extra treat this time: an appearance by special guest star saxophonist Charles McPherson.

Singer Brenda Russell and guitarist Stanley Jordan will bring their stylings to Del Mar for the fifth concert in the series August 30.

Russell ranks as one of the few artists successful in melding rock, pop rhythm and blues, jazz, classical and Latin influences into a distinctive style that endures through time and trends.

Jordan's rise in the jazz world began as a street player in New York City following his graduation from Princeton University in 1983. The then-23-year-old from Palo Alto, California, stunned passersby with his two-handed playing style that allowed him to lay down a walking bass line while adding a rhythmic accompaniment and a soaring lead. By 1985, Jordan had established himself as one of music's brightest guitar stars.

One additional act will be announced for the series' closing night September 6.

The warm-up act throughout the series will be the Anthony Smith Quartet, featuring Smith on vibes.

As he has since the series' inception in 1991, popular San Diego-area disk jockey and television personality Larry Himmel will serve as master of ceremonies. The series is booked by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club through Rob Hagey Productions.

July 12, 2000


Del Mar will simulcast races from Saratoga, Arlington International and Monmouth Park during its 43-day race meet which gets underway on Wednesday, July 26. Simulcasting will be conducted every day but Tuesdays throughout the summer.

For the second consecutive year the seaside track will take the full program from New York's Saratoga Race Course. The Spa's race meet begins on July 26 and runs through Labor Day, September 4, a total of 36 racing days. Like Del Mar, Saratoga races every day but Tuesdays. Their nine-race cards normally will launch the simulcasting day at Del Mar at 10 a.m.

Eight races will be simulcast from Arlington near Chicago every day but Mondays, while three races will imported from Monmouth Park in New Jersey under a similar arrangement. On Mondays, Del Mar will present a full racing card from Calder Race Course in Miami.

Besides the full cards, the track additionally will show all of the major stakes run across the country during the summer, more than 40 races in all. Del Mar also will offer full cards from New York's Belmont Park following Saratoga's close September 4.

In addition to the out-of-state full-card offerings, the track also will carry full programs from the Northern California fair circuit (Vallejo, Santa Rosa, San Mateo, Ferndale, Sacramento and Bay Meadows) as those meets run during the summer, along with Quarter-Horse racing from Los Alamitos Thursday through Sunday evenings.


Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will present its 61st summer of live racing beginning Wednesday, July 26, with a veteran staff of racing officials in place.

Director of Racing Tom Robbins will be back for his 20th summer at the seaside track, this year taking on the added role of full-time racing secretary.

Aiding Robbins will be assistant racing secretary Christine Hofmans and Charles McIntire as stable superintendent. This will be Hofmans' 14th year at Del Mar and eighth in her current role, while McIntire is celebrating his 50th season at the track and 15th as stable superintendent.

The track's Board of Stewards will consist of David Samuel, Ingrid Fermin and Dennis Nevin. This will be senior official Samuel's 14th straight summer in the judges' stand. Fermin, who became Del Mar's first female steward in 1991, will be serving her eighth season at the shore, while Nevin is back for his fifth.

Placing judges will be Robert Moreno, Zachary Soto and Merry Young. Patrol judges will be Ken Goldberg, Ruben Hernandez and Dennis Flowers. Goldberg will double as paddock judge, while Soto also will serve as stakes coordinator.
Overseeing the jockeys' room will be clerk of scales Dino Perez, assisted by Charles McCaul.

Other officials for the meet include Melanie Stubblefield, clerk of the course; Dianne Piper, horse identifier; John Fontaine, timer; Jeff Tufts, morning line maker; Harry Toston, horseshoe inspector; Ray Baran, D.V.M., track veterinarian, and B. William Bell, D.V.M., veterinarian representing the California Horse Racing Board. Additionally, starter Gary Brinson is back for his third summer at Del Mar.


Del Mar and the city just to its north Solana Beach have teamed up in a program called "Gateway to the Races" that will make coming to the track fast and easy for train travelers. All Amtrak and Coaster trains arriving at the newly remodeled Solana Beach train station are met by red, double-decker British busses and race fans are given free shuttle rides to the track, located approximately nine-tenths of a mile to the south. Return shuttle rides from the track meet all outgoing trains. For information call (858) 755-4775.




Del Mar will offer a full range of betting options when it opens for its 61st summer season Wednesday, July 26.

With one minor exception, the track's betting format will mirror the one it offered to its fans at the 1999 meeting. The exception will be an additional Superfecta bet when the track runs 10 races. On 10-race days, there will be Superfectas on the 4th, 6th, 8th and 10th races. On nine-race days the bet will be offered on the 5th, 7th and 9th. And on eight-race cards they are offered on the 4th, 6th and 8th. The Superfecta bet requires the selection of the first-through-fourth-place finishers in exact order.

Normally, Del Mar will run eight-race cards on weekdays, 10-race cards on Saturdays and nine-race cards on Sundays.

Besides the usual win, place and show betting, Del Mar also will offer the popular Pick Six on the last six races of each card. Other exotic bets available each afternoon are $2 Daily Doubles on the first and second and the last two races; $2 Quinellas on all races; $2 Parlays; $1 Exactas on all races; $1 Rolling Pick Threes starting with the first race and ending with the last three races; a $1 Trifecta on all races with at least eight betting interests, and the $1 Place Pick All.


Del Mar will conduct its third "Sports & Fitness Festival" on Sunday, July 30 in the track's infield. The event will begin at 1 p.m. and continue until 5:30 p.m. as one of the highlights of the opening weekend of the seven-week summer season. The festival is free with admission to the racetrack.

Between races throughout the afternoon demonstrations will include martial arts, Navy Seal training and bike spinning. There also will be a rock-climbing wall, golf instruction with the Golf Pro Analyser and other interactive events.

The festival will run side-by-side with the track's Family Fun Days, which are presented each weekend in the infield. Pony rides, an obstacle course, a giant slide, face painting and an inflatable jump will add to the afternoon's fun.

Working with Del Mar on the festival are radio stations Rock 105.3, Channel 93.3 and 101 KGB.

The festival will be preceded by the fourth annual "Turf to Surf 5K Run/Walk" beginning at 8 a.m. All runners/walkers will receive T-shirts and free passes to the track for the afternoon's races and festival.

The opening Sunday of the meet will offer a nine-race card headed by the $400,000 Eddie Read Handicap. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post at 2 p.m.


Del Mar once again will play host to the Western Regional Chili Cookoff during its summer season, this time on Saturday, August 12.  Approximately 50 chili cooks and 50 salsa chefs will compete for prizes in the infield beginning at 1 p.m.

The three previous cookoffs have drawn large crowds for free samples of the hot and spicy chili and salsa throughout the day. A similar arrangement will be in place this year for the event, which is sponsored by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, Western Regional Chili Cookoff and the International Chili Society.

The first-place prize winner in the contest gets to try for national honors at the World Championship Chili Cookoff in Las Vegas.

Del Mar's 10-race card that afternoon is headed by the $300,000 Clement L. Hirsch Handicap. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. with first post at 2 p.m.