Submitted by Michael Dempsey on
Del Mar is the jewel of Southern California racing, conducting a summer meeting from July until September each year, attracting many of the top horses, trainers and jockeys in the U.S.
Known as the racetrack "Where The Turf Meets The Surf," the track opened in 1937, owned in part by some of Hollywood’s elite including Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante and Oliver Hardy.
The marquee event of the meeting is the Grade 1 Pacific Classic for older runners. The 2012 winner Dullahan set a track record, stopping the timer in 1:59.54 for the 1 ¼ miles over the polytrack surface.
There have been three horses that have won the Pacific Classic twice, the last being Richard’s Kid, who won in 2009 and 2010. The late Bobby Frankel leads all trainers with six victories in the race.
Hall of fame rider Laffit Pincay is the all-time leading jockey in wins at Del Mar with 1,011. Chris McCarron leads all jockeys in stakes wins with 134.
Mike Mitchell leads all trainers in wins while hall of fame conditioner Bob Baffert is the leading trainer in stakes victories.
Jockey Rafael Bejarano led all jockeys at the 2012 meeting with 52 winners, ending Joel Rosario’s three-year run as leading jockey at the meeting.
Peter Miller was the top trainer at the 2012 meeting with 21 winners, edging out Baffert by one. Baffert led all trainers in purses won with $2,042,502.
Doug O’Neill was third with 18 winners. The trainer of 2012 Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another has won the Del Mar training title four times, the last coming in 2010.
Graded stakes run at Del Mar:
Bing Crosby Handicap
Clement L. Hirsch Handicap
Del Mar Debutante Stakes
Del Mar Futurity
Del Mar Oaks
Eddie Read Handicap
John C. Mabee Handicap
Pacific Classic Stakes
Best Pal Stakes
Del Mar Mile Handicap
Del Mar Derby
Del Mar Handicap
La Jolla Handicap
Palomar Breeders' Cup Handicap
Pat O'Brien Handicap
San Clemente Handicap
San Diego Handicap
Cougar II Handicap
Rancho Bernardo Handicap