From the Del Mar Media Team:

Del Mar’s seventh fall race meeting – starting on Saturday, October 31 – will provide horsemen with a healthy 10% blended increase in their overnight purses and the highest bonuses ever tied to the popular “Ship & Win” program.

Despite the ongoing pandemic situation, the track was able to hold firm on its recently announced stakes schedule that offers 16 events with $2,250,00 in purses. Beyond that, though, overnight purse levels will be increased by approximately 10% across the board.  Examples include:

  • First level allowance purses increase from $53,000 to $59,000.
  • Maiden Special Weight races jump from $52,000 to $57,000.
  • $32,000 claimers go up from $33,000 to $36,000.
  • Maiden-Claiming $50,000 rises from $28,000 to $31,000.

Racing officials noted also that the track’s minimum purse has increased from 2019’s $17,000 to this fall’s $20,000.

Additionally, the track’s “Ship & Win” program – now in its 10th year – will provide its richest incentive ever with a guaranteed $3,000 “starter fee” for all runners.

Further, those runners will be eligible for a 30% purse bonus added on top of whatever they win (for finishing first through fifth) in that initial outing.

“We worked with our partners at the Thoroughbred Owners of California on this and I think we’ve got a solid foundation that should encourage our horsemen – as well as those from other racing venues – to want to be part of what we do here in the fall,” said Del Mar’s executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins. “Our fall meet has grown year by year and is now as good a run of racing as you’re going to find anywhere in the country this year.”

In reference to the “Ship & Win” program, Robbins noted that since its inception in 2011, the incentive plan has drawn more than 1,400 runners to Del Mar and they’ve made more than 2,000 starts at the track, as well as more than 4,200 starts at other state tracks, such as Santa Anita, Los Alamitos and Golden Gate.

The simple rules for “S & W” runners are as follows:

  • Horses must have made their last start outside of California.
  • Horses cannot have raced in California in the past 12 months.
  • First-time starters are not eligible.
  • $3,000 starter fee for all eligible horses; 30% purse bonus for initial start.
  • Stakes runners (including overnight stakes) are not eligible for the 30% bonus.

Those who have questions concerning the program are encouraged to contact Robbins or racing secretary David Jerkens at (858) 792-4230.

The fall session will have a first post daily of 12:30 p.m. with the exception of its special Thanksgiving Day (November 26) card that begins at 11 a.m. Closing day will be Sunday, November 29.