Hank Wesch /Del Mar

On The Threshold: Smith Remembers His Grade 1 Triumphs At Del Mar

Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith has 215 Grade 1 stakes victories in his career, one short of tying the retired Jerry Bailey for the wins recorded at the highest-level events in racing. While he’s aware of the circumstances, Smith knows from the experience of breaking many records in many categories that envisioning and doing […]

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Starter, Surfer, Equine Dentist: Del Mar The Perfect Home For Jay Slender

“If everybody had an ocean, across the USA, then everybody’d be surfin’ like Californi-a…”      -The Beach Boys, Surfin’ USA      Jay Slender has an ocean, the Pacific one. It’s only a few furlongs away from Del Mar, where he works as the starter during the seven-week summer meeting that ends on Labor […]

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‘She Taught Me A Lot’: Prat Bids Farewell To ‘Special’ Mare Vasilika

Flavien Prat had answered the questions and provided comments on his victory aboard Toinette in the Goldikova Stakes on Sunday, November 3, closing day of the Santa Anita fall meeting, when another item of business was brought up. He was asked for his thoughts on the retirement of Vasilika, the 5-year-old mare that Prat had […]

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‘I Could Hear Sunday Silence Breathing’: Reliving An All-Time Workout At Del Mar

Thoroughbred workouts can be gold, or fool’s gold. Gold when they prove to be an indicator of readiness for a racing victory. Fool’s gold when a series of “bullets” in the morning inexplicably leads to a dud of a performance in the afternoon. It’s no wonder that some handicappers swear by the little line of […]

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Work In Progress: Trust, Communication Keys To Success For Del Mar Racing Office

The Santa Anita winter/spring meeting lost 24 racing days either in the name of safety or not having enough horses to race four days a week. Los Alamitos cancelled three racing days during its three-week meeting due to a lack of entries. That was the situation facing Del Mar Thoroughbred Club executive vice president, racing […]

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Meet The ‘Safety Seven’: Del Mar’s Veterinarian Team Tasked With Protecting And Serving

Let’s call them the ‘Safety Seven.’ Granted, it’s not a grabber of a group name like the ‘Seven Samurai’ or the ‘Magnificent Seven.’ But the seven veterinarians on duty this summer at the behest of the California Horse Racing Board and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, under the direction of CHRB equine medical director Dr. […]

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Del Mar A Familiar Place For 2019 Intern Class

The five members of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club intern Class of 2019 all grew up locally. They all have, or are about to, scatter to various parts of the country for collegiate matriculation — two in the Pacific Northwest, two in the Midwest and one about 150 miles up the 405 freeway. Two will […]

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Former Football, Coaching Star T-Ray Enjoying A New Kind Of ‘Athlete’

If you stopped by the barn of Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella during fall racing at Del Mar, the chances are good you’d run into a man with University of Southern California logo gear draped somewhere over his slim frame and a smile on his face. Meet Terrell Ray, or T-Ray to his friends, […]

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Del Mar Stewards: ‘You Don’t Take This Job To Make Friends’

Talk to the three stewards for the Del Mar fall racing season separately and some things they have in common become as glaringly obvious as the INQUIRY sign they light up when duty requires at the end of a race. They all were either born to Thoroughbred racing or drawn to it at a young […]

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