Del Mar racetrack proposes opening date of July 10

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The Del Mar Racetrack. Horse racing questrian performance sport, San Diego, California, USA. Valley News/Adobestock photo

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced it plans to start its racing season Friday, July 10, pending the approval of the California Horse Racing Board.

The state’s Horse Racing Board will decide at its June 11 meeting whether to approve the Del Mar racetrack’s plan, which would employ a Friday through Sunday race schedule.

The track will operate without spectators for the foreseeable future,according to track officials.

Originally scheduled to open July 18, the track’s operators proposed moving up the start date to fit its usual number of races in, despite an abbreviated schedule.

“We want to begin the meet earlier and offer horsemen the same number of opportunities to run as we have for the last several summer seasons,” Tom Robbins, executive vice president of racing for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, said. “And because the San Diego Fair was canceled this year, our track maintenance team will be preparing our racing surfaces earlier and we’ll be able to have horses on-site sooner than in the past.”

The proposed schedule called for 291 races over nine weeks. The track ran 297 races over its eight-week summer program in 2019.

The track would offer 10-race cards Fridays and Sundays and 11-race cards Saturdays, with the summer racing schedule set to close with a four-day week ending Sept. 7.

Wagering on Del Mar’s races will continue remotely via online platforms like TVG and at off-track betting locations. The first daily post throughout the summer will be at 2 p.m.