The betting figures are out for Del Mar’s recently-concluded summer meet and, from our perspective, they’re excellent. According to the Daily Racing Form, all-sources handle was down 10.9% over last year. While the track was quick to blame the cancellation of one raceday (hurricane), fact is average daily handle was also down: 7.9%. This, coupled with sharp declines at America’s other elite summer track, Saratoga, bodes well.
As it was with NYRA, Del Mar is in full spin mode: “[O]nce again [we] presented full fields with competitive and safe racing that continues to provide value for racing fans.” And: “Leading the progress on equine welfare…Del Mar continues to rank among the safest tracks in the country.” To which I reply: Seven – seven – beautiful, intelligent, sensitive beings were sacrificed (for, I remind, $2 bets) at Del Mar this summer:
Nevisian Sunrise, killed Jul 27
Ghostem, killed Jul 29
Episode Five, killed Jul 29
Mikethedealer, killed Aug 4
Vagabond Prayer, killed Aug 19
Pastor T, killed Aug 26
Peace of Mind, killed Sep 5
If that qualifies as “among the safest tracks in the country” – vile.