Del Mar Innovations

Del Mar Innovations

It was reported recently that Del Mar will be continuing their innovative “Ship and Win” program from last year’s meeting. Good – as far as I’m concerned – ALL attempted innovations are welcomed. With the steady deterioration of our game over the decades, any decent new idea would be better than the ineffectual clap-trap, and misguided marketing that has been the norm in recent decades.

Of course, Del Mar’s program is an attempt to get out of state horses shipping into California, and in that respect isn’t an idea that would work racing wide, but it has done very well for them. As reported by Thoroughbred Times from a Del Mar press release . . .

“For the 2012 meet, the program will still offer the $1,000 incentive to qualifying horses, but will boost the purse bonus to 25%.

The $1,000 incentive will apply to any starter in any race at Del Mar, including all advertised and overnight stakes. The purse bonus, however, counts only toward general overnight purses, meaning all stakes races are excluded.

The 25% bonus can add sizable funds to an initial start at Del Mar for an owner. In the case of a $70,000 maiden special weight, the winner’s share amounts to $42,000. Adding in the bonus payment means an additional check for $10,500. The track’s lowest-level claiming race, for $8,000, carries a purse of $20,000 and a winner’s prize of $12,000. The bonus for that horse would be $3,000.

“We think ‘Ship and Win’ is a smart way to be competitive in our business right now.”

And kudos to the Del Mar management for keeping the racing more interesting and meeting more attractive than any other on the California circuit. Summer is a great time for racing – the coming of the Saratoga and the Del Mar meets always create an upbeat feeling in the game. We need more tracks to follow their lead.

You can read the full article here:


Del Mar opens its 2012 season on Wednesday, July 18 and runs through Wednesday, September 5.

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