Hank Wesch /Del Mar

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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Thoroughbreds, Veterans Find A Home ‘Down The Stretch’

The place is located in Creston, Washington, about 50 miles west of Spokane. It encompasses 220 acres and is home to 30 retired Thoroughbred racehorses. It’s called Down the Stretch Ranch. Over the course of the last three years it has also been a place that has hosted approximately 100 U.S. military war veterans, all […]

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Baffert, Hollendorfer Ready Candidates For Debutante, Futurity Showdowns

Combined, Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert has 20 victories in the championship races for 2-year-olds at the Del Mar summer meeting. He’s won the Debutante, for fillies, seven times and the Futurity, for males, a record 13 times. Combined, Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer has two wins. He saddled champion Songbird to victory […]

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Geovanni Franco Living The Dream In California

The name, Geovanni Franco, registers as Italian. The birthplace listed in the Del Mar jockey roster says Mexico City. The word Franco received recently from a family sage took him to yet another place. “I had to go back to Mexico last year for an emergency, I got to talk to my grandfather and ask […]

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‘Ward’ Of San Diego, An Aide To Hall Of Fame Trainers

Every Del Mar summer season is a homecoming for Dan Ward, Jr., the top assistant to Hall of Fame trainer Jerry Hollendorfer. Ward’s parents, Dan, Sr., and Joan, live in Carlsbad and, since going to work for Hollendorfer in 2008, Dan has been able to stay with them, make the short commute to Del Mar […]

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O’Neill, Hollendorfer Off To Dominating Starts At Del Mar

Del Mar’s 79th summer season opening day was a very good one on the track for trainers Doug O’Neill and Hall of Famer Jerry Hollendorfer and on-track, for Del Mar Thoroughbred Club CEO Joe Harper. O’Neill won four of the first five races, to move within one of the track single-day record he set on […]

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Del Mar Interns To Work In Variety Of Racetrack Departments

The 42nd class in a Del Mar summer intern program that started in 1977 has assembled, seven strong, for the 79th season at the seaside track. By the numbers, it breaks down to six San Diego County products and one Arizonan; five with primary interests in the marketing, business or operational aspects of the racing […]

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D’Amato: Shift To Stakes Horses Makes Another Del Mar Training Title Unlikely

Phil D’Amato shared the 2017 Del Mar training championship with Richard Baltas when they saddled 18 winners apiece. D’Amato claimed it outright in 2016 with 23 wins. But on opening day of the 2018 Del Mar summer season, D’Amato allowed that his name wouldn’t be atop the leaderboard when the 79th such meeting comes to […]

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‘Beautiful’ And ‘Accommodating’: Hills Enjoying First Del Mar Season

The presence of owners Jim and Susan Hill at Del Mar, a place Jim Hill concedes – “We’d never been to, never seen until this year” — with more than a dozen horses for the Bing Crosby Fall meeting leads to one inescapable conclusion. Del Mar hosting the Breeders’ Cup for the first time was […]

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