If you are a California racing fan at all, you know that times have been tough.
But I contend that when there is racing at Del Mar, all is well in the world.
That’s just me.
This Wednesday (Yesterday, as I write this), was opening day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
“This is the fun time of the year,” trainer John Sadler said Tuesday. “Everyone likes coming to Del Mar. It looks like it’s going to be a beautiful day.”
The appeal of Del Mar is that it’s one of the premier meets in the country in the summer.
All the owners and good horses show up for the meeting.
Del Mar CEO Joe Harper just hopes that enough horses show up fill 37 race cards.
“Obviously, the unknown link is: Will we have enough horses to sustain the race meet the way we like it,” Harper said. “I’m feeling good about it. The first few days of entries are good, and we seem to have a pretty good response from out-of-towners on the ‘Ship and Win’ program. That’s a nice thing.
“Overall, the promotions look good, the preseason sales are strong, and hopefully we get through the meet the way we want to get through it.”
Del Mar is doing its best to get through the meet during a time when horse populations are down nationally.
The track is offering any horsemen $1,000 to enter the starting gate for its first Del Mar race and a 20 percent purse bonus of its winnings.