Del Mar, Horse racing

Will Del Mar cut purses after slow start?

The numbers are down, but officials at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club insist purse cuts won’t be forthcoming when the third condition book is released on Tuesday.

“Heck, no,” said Mike Ernst, Del Mar’s chief financial officer on Sunday.

Through Saturday, Del Mar was down 11.2% in overall handle, but it should be noted that was 13 days in 2014 vs. 14 days in 2013. However, it should also be noted Del Mar ran a number of extra races the first two weeks of the meet and was only down three total races.

Average daily handle was down 4.3% when comparing the last two years.

“We haven’t considered it,” said Ernst. “It’s only 13 days of a 36-day meet. We continue to monitor it and continue to talk to the TOC.”

Ernst said two rain days hurt. “The last time it rained here was in 1966 and 1982,” he said.

Also the much-maligned turf course has also hurt. With races taken off the grass, some handicappers don’t like betting the Polytrack.

“We are at expected levels,” said Ernst.

Del Mar is expecting improvement this week as the turf course is expected to re-open on Saturday for racing and a couple of Del Mar’s big bettors are expected in town plus the promotional schedule is back-loaded to the final four weeks of the meet.

Ernst and Tom Robbins, director of racing, were expected to meet Monday to discuss purses plus Del Mar will meet with the TOC on Monday.

Del Mar also has purse funds left over from the 2013 meet in the pot.

The new condition book will be released on-line at on Tuesday.

@Jeff_Nahill on Twitter

Sunday’s top choice winners: 1 (Warren’s Cracker $19.20, fourth race)

Sunday’s second choice winners: 0

Sunday’s third choice winners: 1 (My Jealous $13.60, third; Skyway $6.20, eighth)

Sunday’s long show winners: 1 (Wrightwood $15, ninth)



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