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Del Mar Gearing Up For Its 83rd Season

Del Mar Gearing Up For Its 83rd Season

by Daniel BenjaminJuly 17, 2022

Del Mar Gearing Up For Its 83rd Season

Del Mar is one of the best-thoroughbred racetracks in the world, and it is gearing up for the start of the 2022 season. This is great news for bettors and fans as the track always attracts some of the best jockeys, trainers, and horses in all of racing. Meaning higher prize pools and more competitive races, therefore equating to more upsets and subsequently higher payouts at the mutual windows.

“We’re raring to go,” said Chris Bahr, Del Mar’s director of events and promotions. “Not only do we have world-class horse racing, but racegoers can enjoy other things we have to offer.”

Del Mar will get its 83rd season underway with 10 races next Friday. The season will run from July 22 to September 11, with races being held Thursday thru Sunday – the lone exception is that there be races held on Labor Day (Sept. 5). During this season, Del Mar will host 34 stakes races totaling a track purse record $8.275 million.


Grandstands Open To Fully Capacity


While the track will limit the opening day crowd to around 21,750, this year will mark the first time grandstands will be completely open since 2019. This is obviously great news as the more people that attend the race track, the more money spent, therefore the higher payouts.

So, why are they limiting spectators on opening day? According to Del Mar, it is because of the rave reviews they received after doing so last year. In a statement from Del Mar CEO John Harper, “A sellout crowd where everyone has easier access to concessions and betting windows is the right way to go get out 83rd season off to a strong start.”

Speaking of opening day, the 10-race card will feature one of Del Mar’s stakes races in the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes. It will also include a Hat Day where winners can share in more than $4,000 in prizes.


TVG Pacific Classic Is Marquee Event

Del Mar gearing up and has plenty of high-quality races slated throughout this session. But their biggest day will be September 3, featuring five stakes races, including four Graded Stakes. The $1 million TVG Pacific Classic headlines the day’s schedule.

The Grade I Pacific Classic, running in September for just the second time since 1991, is a 1 ¼ mile event for 3-year-olds and older that serves as a “Win and You’re In” qualifier for the Grade I, $6 million Longines Breeders Cup Classic (Nov. 5). One potential entrant for the Classic is Flightline, who is undefeated in four career starts and considered the top horse in the United States as he has won his events by a total of 43 ½ lengths.

There will also be three Grade II Stakes races on Sept. 3, led by the $300,000 Del Mar Handicap, which is a “Win and You’re In” qualifier in the $4 million Longines Breeders Cup Turf Cup (Nov. 5). The Del Mar Mile and the Caesars Sportsbook Del Mar Derby, both Grade II events, along with the $125,000 Shared Belief Stakes will also be contested on the day.

In addition, the day will be one of Del Mar’s “Mandatory Payout” days where the bettors with the most number of winners on a “Pick Six” wager will go home with extra cash (Aug. 6 and Sept. 11 being the other days).


On-Track Betting Contests

Not only is Del Mar gearing up big news, the Pacific Classic will be a fantastic race and betting opportunity, but the day is one of three opportunities that the track will give “serious handicappers” an opportunity to make big bank in betting contests.

On Pacific Classic Day, handicappers can enter (up to two times) the betting contest for a buy-in of $3,000, with $2,000 used for bankroll and $1,000 going to the prize pool, Cash along with entries to the 2022 Breeders Cup Betting Challenge and National Horseplayer Championship (NHC) will be awarded to the winners.

The first on-track betting contest will be a two-day event (July 30-31) with a $5,000 buy-in, up to two entries per person, with $3,500 for live bankroll and $1,500 for the prize pool. Prizes include cash and entries into handicapping contests.

Then on Aug. 6, the handicapping contest will benefit LRF Cares, which provides aftercare for thoroughbred racehorses following the conclusion of their careers. The buy-in is $600, with $300 designated for live bankroll and $300 for the prize pool. Sixty percent of the collection will be returned for cash and prizes, including handicapping contests.

So as you prep for Del Mar gearing up for this exciting season, be sure to look into all the upcoming races to grow your portfolio.

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About The Author
Daniel Benjamin