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Indiana Horse Racing Commission
By August 27, 2019 Read More →

The History Of Horse Racing In Del Mar

Del Mar, a Spanish term for “by the sea” or “of the sea” is a city located in San Diego County, California. By its name, the location situated on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Del Mar is a beautiful place to live in,  with a climate regarded as Mediterranean-subtropical with dry, warm summers, and humid winters.

The city is also the home of several attractions including the Torrey Pines State Beach, Powerhouse Community Center, and the Del Mar Fairgrounds.  The latter is where it held the San Diego County Fair, Del Mar Antique Show in which celebrated three times annually in the location. Thus, it is also the place for the famous Del Mar racetrack taking event during summer and fall.

Del Mar Racetrack

It was in the year 1937 that the Del Mar racetrack opened its field to the public. Bing Crosby, one of the founders,  personally greeted the fans as the gates opened.

Del Mar’s town became the “Playground of the Stars” since the member of the Del Mar Turf Club was an all-star cast along with Bing Crosby. Thus, celebrities resided in houses near the oceanfront, played softball, ate in restaurants, swam by the beach, and grill barbecues.

From the start, the racetrack created a reputation among top rivals in the field for exciting races. In the year 1938, Del Mar organized a highly publicized sport race among famous horses Seabiscuit and Ligaroti.

The event placed Del Mar on the map as it draws 20,000 fans to the track, including a nationwide radio audience. Seabiscuit came half a length ahead of Ligaroti as it took right next to him and stayed as they dueled the field.

Along with the several Delmar races today, the Seabiscuit-Ligaroti fight of 1938 transfigured everything. From that moment, Del Mar racetrack became known as capable of attracting prestigious horses, as well as thousands of supporters wanting to take part.

Moreover, starting in the year 1942 to year 19445, Del Mar is in the dark, and no renowned horse racing event happened as the United States spirals into World War II. The Marines used the fields to train, and also they occupy the site for manufacturing of parts to B-17 bombers.

The war ends in the year 1945, and President Harry Truman then declared a national holiday, in which the Del Mar racetrack is starting its events again. After reopening the track, 20,324 fans entered the fields, and bet a total of $958,476 which set a new record for Del Mar.

William Lee Shoemaker was one of the pronounced jockeys ever exhibited in Del Mar as in the year 1949. He became the young Texas rider that lays 52 wins at the Del Mar meetings and also the first-ever apprentice to win the field’s riding title.

For the next forty years, Willie continues to break records, and in the year 1953, he broke an all-year record of 485 victories. Thus, from years 1958-1964, he was the most money-winning jockey.

Also, Del Mar was fortunate to include Laffit Alejandro Pincay Jr, who regarded as the world’s best-known and most successful jockey. He measures his achievement as a family-oriented individual and a rider,  as well as his fellow men’s leader and mentor.

Pincay won six races since the year 1976 despatched to 867 tallies on the opening day and the first of his five riding titles. The jockey also evokes 12 stakes races, a record that still represents in 2012.

Later, in the year 1977, Bing Crosby made a final visit to the field that he once founded then passed away after that year. His remembrance continues every summer at Del Mar, along with his renowned version of “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.”

With a daily average of $7,320,623, Del Mar, in the year 1989 became the leading track in the country. Olympic Native lays the record of winning the Pat O’Brien B.C Handicap for seven panels.

Moreover, the track encounters its most exciting day so far when in the sixth Pacific Classic in the year 1996. A record of 44,181 individuals goes onboard to watch the robust Cigar attempting to break the 16-consecutive-wins against the horse Citation. But, the crowd went into disbelief as the latter won the race.

Del Mar, in the year 2009 operates five days a week for the first time since 1945, dumping the Monday events in an improvement to a robust economy and a decreasing population of horses. Thus, for seven years in a row in the year 2011, the participation of the Opening Day track grew to a single-day average of 46,588.

Through the years, and up until today, the horse racing events in Del Mar continue its legacy to build exciting races. While it improves year by year, it also attracts more and more of the individuals as well as bridging unity to the fans.

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