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Del Mar expects to have fans for summer horse racing season

Del Mar raced with almost no fans last summer, but track officials are expecting that to change this summer.
(K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Seaside track is planning for return of spectators for opening day July 16

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club plans to open its annual horse racing meeting on Friday, July 16, and officials are optimistic spectators will be welcomed at the seaside facility.

The 31-day meeting will begin one day earlier than originally scheduled, according to an announcement Tuesday morning, March 16.

“We will continue to follow the guidance of local health officials and our medical advisors, but based on what has been announced for other local attractions such as the San Diego Padres and SeaWorld, we are optimistic we will have fans in the stands this summer at some level,” Del Mar President and COO Josh Rubinstein said in a statement. “We have the advantages of a 350-acre site and a facility that can host people quite comfortably with appropriate social distancing as needed.”

The general public was not permitted at either of Del Mar’s meetings last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Owners of horses running on a particular day were allowed to watch.

The first two weeks of the meeting will feature Friday-Saturday-Sunday racing. The remainder of the meet will feature Thursday-through-Sunday racing through closing day on Labor Day, Sept. 6.

Del Mar’s fall meeting this year will feature the Breeders’ Cup championship races on Nov. 5-6. Ticket distribution plans have yet to be announced for either meeting.

— Jay Posner is a reporter for The San Diego Union-Tribune


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