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Del Mar Racetrack

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is a prominent racing facility in Del Mar, California. Live thoroughbred racing is held on its two tracks in a season that typically spans July to September.

The track is a showcase of laid-back Spanish architecture and sits a short distance from the waters of the Pacific Ocean, hence its moniker ‘the track where the turf meets the surf'. It is located about 20 miles north of San Diego, and 100 miles south of Los Angeles.

Del Mar racetrack has been America's number one track in terms of attendance and handles for more than a decade and is showing no signs of slowing. The track holds some of the most prestigious stakes events in California. Among the events it hosts annually include the Pacific Classic, the Bing Crosby Handicap, the Del Mar Oaks, the San Diego Handicap and the Del Mar Futurity.

Del Mar Racetrack Facts

Main Track

  Track Shape:                Oval
Track Length:               1 Mile
Homestretch Length:      919 feet

Turf Course

  Track Shape:         Oval
Track Material:       1 Mile
Track Length:        919 feet

History and Milestones

1937 - Singer Bing Crosby and Hollywood buddies including Pat O'Brien and Jimmy Durante started a race track in a sleepy town called Del Mar. The lot was beside the sea and they thought it was a perfect place to hold races.

1938 - The famous Seabiscuit-Ligaroti match race was held on August 12, drawing 20,000 to the track. Seabiscuit beat Ligaroti by a nose.

1941 - Del Mar racetrack presents its longest meet to date--32 days--and draws average crowds of just over 7,500 daily.

1942-44 - Del Mar racetrack is closed as the U.S. plunges into World War II.

1945 - Some 20,324 fans turned out for the re-opening of the track on August 15 and bet a whopping $958,476, a Del Mar record.

1946 - The first Bing Crosby Handicap was held.

1949 - Texan rider Bill Shoemaker set a Del Mar record of 52 wins at the meet and becomes the first apprentice to claim the track's riding title.

1952 - Del Mar racetrack's average daily crowd climbed into the five figure range when the 41-day meet draws 426,691, a daily average of 10,433.

1953 - The track presented its richest stakes schedule thus far with 10 events worth $130,000 in added money. Leading rider Bill Shoemaker won half of them.

1954 - Bill Shoemaker won 94 races during the meet's 41-day run, a Del Mar standard that may never be topped.

1956 - John Longden became the world's winningest rider as he went past Sir Gordon Richards' record during the Del Mar Handicap on September 3 for victory No. 4,871.

1960 - Del Mar racetrack unveiled its brand-new seven-eighths mile turf course.

1970 - Bill Shoemaker surpassed John Longden as the winningest rider of all time with a win on board a filly named Dares J on September 7.

1976 - Laffit Pincay, Jr. of Panama won six races on opening day of the meet. He will go on to win the first of his five Del Mar racetrack riding titles.

1985 - Del Mar racetrack completed an underground tunnel into its infield.

1987 - Bill Shoemaker and Charlie Whittingham teamed up to win the Del Mar Handicap. The tally is the 93rd and final stakes victory for Bill Shoemaker at Del Mar racetrack.

1989 - Del Mar racetrack became the leading track in the country for the first time with a daily average handle of $7,320,623.

1990-2000 - Del Mar racetrack wielded the record for the nation's highest daily average attendance for a full decade. The track also routinely topped the category for the nation's largest daily average handle.

2001-present - Betting levels go even higher as Del Mar racetrack reaches for greater heights.

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