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And they're off (again)

Del Mar racetrack's Bing Crosby Season opens

From a weather standpoint, the November 7 opener of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Cub’s “Bing Crosby Season" was better than its regular late-July opener. But even with temperatures in the 80s, missing were the throngs of seersucker-suit-dressed men and tight-dressed women, big charter buses, and private infield parties.

But for the first-time running of horses in the fall, at a track known for the best 45 days of summer racing on the West Coast that draws an average 30,000 spectators, bettors, and partiers, it was a success: an estimated 15,000 fans showed up.

The California Horse Racing Board regulates the number of racing days in its effort to keep the sport thriving and maintain income generated for state coffers. When Hollywood Park closed last year, their schedule was divided up between the Del Mar and Santa Anita tracks. Santa Anita chose to add on their additional weeks at the beginning of their season in the spring; Del Mar opened their new meet in November.

Keith, a 20-season vendor for the Racing Form — the Bible of handicappers — says the turnout was much higher than expected. By the sixth race, he had sold out of racing forms for the day. He said he expects daily attendance to drop to around 3000 to 6000 fans per day as the weather changes. Like most track employees who play the ponies, Keith places all his bets early in the morning; he then watches the results throughout the day. He said he had a pretty good day.

New this year, club president Joe Harper announced that Del Mar’s experiment with the artificial “Polytrack” — fake dirt — is over. Installed in 2007 at a cost of $9 million, the Polytrack was supposed to help prevent injuries to horses. It didn’t work out, as most horses train or race on tracks of real dirt. The current track will be replaced for the 2015 meets.

Racing at Del Mar runs Thursdays through Sunday, through November 30. Due to the end of daylight savings time, post time varies, up to three hours earlier than the summer season.

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From a weather standpoint, the November 7 opener of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Cub’s “Bing Crosby Season" was better than its regular late-July opener. But even with temperatures in the 80s, missing were the throngs of seersucker-suit-dressed men and tight-dressed women, big charter buses, and private infield parties.

But for the first-time running of horses in the fall, at a track known for the best 45 days of summer racing on the West Coast that draws an average 30,000 spectators, bettors, and partiers, it was a success: an estimated 15,000 fans showed up.

The California Horse Racing Board regulates the number of racing days in its effort to keep the sport thriving and maintain income generated for state coffers. When Hollywood Park closed last year, their schedule was divided up between the Del Mar and Santa Anita tracks. Santa Anita chose to add on their additional weeks at the beginning of their season in the spring; Del Mar opened their new meet in November.

Keith, a 20-season vendor for the Racing Form — the Bible of handicappers — says the turnout was much higher than expected. By the sixth race, he had sold out of racing forms for the day. He said he expects daily attendance to drop to around 3000 to 6000 fans per day as the weather changes. Like most track employees who play the ponies, Keith places all his bets early in the morning; he then watches the results throughout the day. He said he had a pretty good day.

New this year, club president Joe Harper announced that Del Mar’s experiment with the artificial “Polytrack” — fake dirt — is over. Installed in 2007 at a cost of $9 million, the Polytrack was supposed to help prevent injuries to horses. It didn’t work out, as most horses train or race on tracks of real dirt. The current track will be replaced for the 2015 meets.

Racing at Del Mar runs Thursdays through Sunday, through November 30. Due to the end of daylight savings time, post time varies, up to three hours earlier than the summer season.

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Comments
4

Okay class here's today's math problem:

During Del Mar's summer race season 16 horses died. The summer season had races five days a week from July 17 - September 3. The fall season has 15 racing days.

Today's question: interpolating the results of the summer season, how many horses can expect to die at Del Mar between November 7 through Sunday, November 30?

For a 10 point bonus, list one other "sport" where such a mortality rate is accepted as normal. Oops...we can't ask that: there is none.

Nov. 10, 2014

I'd say 7 more dead horses but I'm lousy at math and get so angry I can barely see straight when people are this insane, participating as if it's normal fun times at the races. Drunk asses.

Nov. 10, 2014

I imagine that bull fighting has a higher mortality rate. A MUCH higher rate.

Nov. 10, 2014

It really should not even be called horse racing. The horses don't race, the jockeys do. When a car wins at NASCAR or other auto race, do when give a trophy to the car? Until the jockeys start dying, horse racing will continue. Unlike autos, there is no way to make the horse safer. What also makes horse racing work is gamblers. Without the sport being legal gambling, it would not exist.

So if someone is passionate enough about ending horse racing, a movement has to emerge that will make the state end it or a use ballot proposition to do so. California have banned many things and I personally feel we should add horse racing to the list. On the other hand we to consider the industry, jobs, loss of revenue and other affects ending this entertainment would cause. We animal lovers have a lot on our minds; Sea World whales, horses, fisheries and the general welfare of the entire planet from climate change.

Nov. 11, 2014

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