Del Mar sets the standard opening day indicator

DEL MAR – The highly anticipated 83rd racing season at the Beach Oval in Del Mar took off impressively Friday with the sale of the entire $23.65 million racing season, breaking the previous record by nearly $2 million.

Del Mar Racetrack generated record wage earnings despite a maximum day attendance of 21,680, about half of the facility’s total capacity. The three-day weekend from Friday to Sunday is the busiest of the summer season, which lasts 31 days of racing ending on September 11th and is expected to be Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s most profitable club to date.

Many of the major betting races have been raised significantly over the past years. The track’s “Ship & Win” program is giving owners and coaches, including many out of state, their highest bid in the program’s 12-year history with a $5,000 starting bonus and 50% wallet supplement for dirty runners, plus a $4,000 bonus. Dollars and a 40% Starter Diet Supplement.

Racers emerge from the gates during the first race on the opening day of the summer 2022 racing season in Del Mar. Breakfast Ride (#8) will go on to win first place. Photography by Laura Bliss

The first race of the summer, the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, was won on Friday by Irish-born Palnikoff under rider Umberto Rispoli.

That was a great trip. I was all the way outside on the back, so I said, “I think I’m losing a lot of ground here,” and went inside. “From there, it happened,” Rispoli said. “I love this race [Oceanside]. In the three years I’ve ridden it, I’ve won it twice and been second. I have a new baby in the family. I am a blessed man.”

Jockey Juan Hernandez took his first win of the day in the one-mile dirt race on a breakfast ride on a horse and earned two more pole positions and one show finish, making him the “star rider” on opening day.

Susan Leonard of Solana Beach entered her custom-made charm by designer Amy Fuller in a hat contest on the opening day of the summer racing season at Del Mar 2022. Photo by Laura Bliss
Susan Leonard of Solana Beach entered her custom-made charm by designer Amy Fuller in a hat contest on the opening day of the summer racing season at Del Mar 2022. Photo by Laura Bliss
Steffi Poce of Park City, Utah, winner of the Opening Day hat contest at Del Mar Raceway on Friday, shows off her racing-themed magic on Friday.  Photography by Laura Bliss
Steffi Poce of Park City, Utah, winner of the Opening Day hat contest at Del Mar Raceway on Friday, shows off her racing-themed magic on Friday. Photography by Laura Bliss

Opening on the weekend is a tradition for the many attendees, who travel from all over the state and country to bet, enjoy the races, and give their best ahead.

Shouts “Happy opening day!” They emerged from the dressed-up attendees as they crossed the gates just before noon on Friday, streaming into the Plaza de Mexico.

Eileen Brazzo of San Clemente said she and her best friend had been attending the races every year since the death of their husbands, who were horse racing partners. Brazeau was also keen to bet on her friend Rosie Ann Rules’ horse, in a race later in the day.

Jockey Juan Hernandez left the paddock after coming first on a breakfast ride on the horse during the first race of this year's summer meet at Del Mar Racetrack.  Photography by Laura Bliss
Jockey Juan Hernandez left the paddock after coming first on a breakfast ride on the horse during the first race of this year’s summer meet at Del Mar Racetrack. Photography by Laura Bliss

“We’re going out to celebrate Opening Day,” said Prazzo, wearing a blue feathered and jewel-encrusted hat with a doll like her perched on top. “Since our husbands have been partners for 20 years, this is something we love to do together.”

Even before hooves met dirt at the first race, today’s spectacle began with an inaugural arena hat competition, where women debuted the enchanting arenas in the categories of Best Wizard, Most Charm, Best Flower, and Best Race Theme or Other Theme.

Solana Beach resident Susan Leonard has been coming to the summer races for the past 15 years and enjoys entering and volunteering for the hat contest. On Friday, she wore a blue sun hat with yellow tulle, blue feathers, and flowers by Amy Fuller to match her sunny yellow dress.

Spectators cheer during the five-season turf race on the opening day of the Del Mar Summer Gathering.  Photography by Laura Bliss
Spectators cheer during the five-season turf race on the opening day of the Del Mar Summer Gathering. Photography by Laura Bliss

“I call it Cool California because it’s so fresh and natural, with the colors of the sea, but the feel of a racetrack where the waves meet the grass,” said Leonard. “It’s really fun being here and inspiring new runners who haven’t been here before.”

Of nearly 160 entries, Steffi Poce of Park City, Utah, took home the grand prize with her depiction of Del Mar’s circular racetrack featuring a horse and rider in the center, all spanning three feet and impressively balanced over her head with yellow and blue riding suits to match. with her.

Visit dmtc.com for schedules, tickets and race results for the Summer 2022 season.

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