News And Notes Closing Week Del Mar

• Del Mar ended their 7 week Summer meet with a bang on Labor Day with overall handle up 5.1% vs. last year, but more importantly, on track fatalities dropped from 17 horses, to just 4 horses. The reason for the increase in handle had to be from a field size average of 8.6, well above last year and previous years as well. Most of the increase came from back East as on track attendance was down a tad, 13,240, or 1.5%. Field size was the real plus, as this is a circuit that normally runs just 4 days a week, and of course Del Mar ran five days a week, and ended the last week running six days. The ship and win programs put in place are a big factor drawing horses from out of state. Pick six carry overs were quite regular as favorites won at a 27%

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Turfdom News and Notes Week 6

• After weeks of favoring early speed, the main track is finally playing fair with runners being able to win from anywhere depending on the pace picture. The track has “tightened” up and the times are getting quicker, yet still not to the degree of last year. The turf course continues to favor off the pace runners regardless of where the inner rails are placed. Here again, depending on how quick the early pace is depends on how far back the closers can win from. Horses can win on the front end going two turns, but they need a dawdling pace and no pressure up front. Even in the five furlong sprints, stalkers and closers have the edge. Overall, favorites are only winning at a 27% clip, with dirt favorites at 31%, close to the national average, while turf favorites are only at 23%, well below the national average. As

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Turfdom Del Mar News And Notes Week 5

The main track picked up speed this past week at Del Mar as they “tightened” up the surface for their big main track stakes on Saturday. The second race on Saturday saw good allowance horses run six furlongs in 1:09 and change and the time for the Pacific Classic was right about where it supposed to be for those types of quality horses. The track has become more “fair” and it gives closers a reasonable chance if the pace is fast enough early on. That was not the case for the first four weeks of the meet. The turf course continues to favor off the pace runners but less so than it was. As the course gets worn down by the heavy usage, speed horses have a better chance of hanging on, especially if the early pace is slow. Compared to Santa Anita, this is still a long shot race

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Turfdom Del Mar News And Notes Week 4

Del Mar has completed 4 weeks of their 7 week Summer season and the main track continues to be slow, tiring, loose, and cuppy, but it is SAFE. Only 2 fatalities have been recorded this year compared to 17 last year. And the track did pick up some speed this week starting late on Thursday. Many horses just can’t handle the surface, even if they performed well here in 2016. The track is totally different from Santa Anita and totally different from last year. It does make handicapping very difficult. The best advice we can give is that most horses have been over the track once by now, and if they performed well initially, there’s a good chance they will do so again. Early speed or at least tactical speed is what is winning on the main track. No complaints on the turf course as it continues to favor off

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Del Mar News and Notes Week 3

• The first 3 weeks of the Del Mar Summer meet have zoomed by very quickly, and it’s hard to believe that the meet is almost half over. So far at least, management has accomplished their goal, and that is to cut down on catastrophic injuries to the animals that put on the show. Last year there were 17 horses that had to be euthanized due to injury and there have been zero so far at this meet, to the best of my knowledge. However, the track has played slow, deep, and tiring, and many trainers just don’t like it. The ones that are winning races say the track is just fine, like Phil D’Amato and Doug O’Neill. The ones that aren’t winning races like Peter Miller and Bob Hess Jr., say the track is bad. Hess has had 3 horses that “bowed” a tendon during the meet, which is

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News and Notes for August 1, 2017

•     With two weeks complete and in the books, Del Mar is off to a very good start in their signature 7 week Summer meet. Although they started on the weak side with a poor opening day of attendance and handle, they bounced back quickly, and are well ahead of last year in both areas for the first 10 days.  The main track continues to favor early speed, in both sprints and routes, but if the pace is quick enough, and contentious enough, closers can find the winners circle. The outside lanes are better than the inside as well.  Conversely, off the pace runners hold the advantage on the turf course, even when the rails are out. But there are days when speed holds up very well, but that is not the norm. Favorites are taking a beating, like they usually do the first few weeks of this meet.

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News and Notes for July 25, 2017

Del Mar kicked off their 78th season this past Wednesday under partly cloudy skies and the temps in the low 70’s, along with that cool ocean breeze coming in off the Pacific. But for the first time since 2004, the attendance dipped below 40,000 patrons, with just 34,128 getting through the turnstiles. More importantly, overall handle was down 13%. In spite of these numbers, management was happy, as there were no fatalities from the race track, either in the afternoons or in the mornings. Such was not the case last year as fatalities plagued this 7 week meet. But the track made some changes. They beefed up their vet crew to 4 people for pre-race viewing and examinations to identify horses at the risk of an injury. Then they graded and banked their main track to be uniform with their sister track, Santa Anita Park. Plus they have shortened their

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News and Notes July 5, 2017 – Rod Young Turfdom

•     The long six and a half month Santa Anita meet came to an end on Tuesday, the 4th. The meet had more than their share of issues, losing 3 days of racing due to heavy rains in the winter, losing two days of racing due to lack of entries, and finally being forced to just 3 days of racing per week twice in June. But the meet finished on an upbeat note with five days of racing the final week and most of those days had good field size. The pick six carried over into the final day and the payout including the single ticket jackpot was a whopping $478,128 and there were several winners. Young apprentice Evin Roman tied for the riding title with Flavian Prat with 41 winners apiece, and it went down to the final race. No apprentice rider had won a riding title at

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News and Notes June 20 – by Rod Young Turfdom

The weather has been hot around Southern California and the entire Southwest for that matter, and it’s going to stay hot up until this Friday. That works well for the horses as racing resumes this Friday with another three day week, which so far has worked out well for the bettors with full fields and good prices throughout the card. And you know management loves those pick six carryovers that really make a difference in the overall handle. However, this doesn’t work for everyone. It’s less money for all the employees as they are not on salaries. They get paid by the hour and less work means less take home pay. And from what I hear, most of the horsemen are not crazy about 3 day weeks as well. It’s still fewer races per week and bigger fields make it tougher to win races. Santa Anita closes the following week

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News and Notes June 13 – by Rod Young Turfdom

For a change, Santa Anita Park decided to give the fans and the players what they want, instead of just catering to the owners and the trainers. Instead of running 4 days per week the next two weeks, they have cancelled the Thursday cards and will run just 3 days per week. They did that this past week and it resulted in fuller fields and better handle overall. This week they will have 10 races each day, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and based on Friday’s entries, it’s a winning formula. Overall, they lose 4 races, 34 on a 4 day week vs. 30 on a 3 day week. Can they make up the handle of those 4 lost races with fuller fields? They don’t know, and that’s why it’s just an experiment at this stage. But they do plan on running five days the final week, Friday through Tuesday, which

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