Entering the final week of the Del Mar meeting, the racing office could anticipate average field size numbers for the fall meeting to be close to the outstanding 8.5 of 2017.
Then rains hit Thursday and carried over into Friday. Seven races were taken off the Jimmy Durante Turf Course and switched to the main track. Twenty-four horses were scratched rather than make the switch.
Racing Secretary David Jerkens now projects an average field size of 7.7 in the final analysis after the finale today.
Fair to say that the meeting was to use a phrase of announcer Trevor Denman, “Moving like a winner,” until Mother Nature intervened?
“I think that's a fair assessment,” Jerkens said.
In many ways, rain is always a blessing in arid Southern California. And betting opportunities may be considered a small price to pay by those who remember the tinder-dry conditions of North San Diego County one year ago next week, which fueled fires that devastated San Luis Rey Downs.
“We're pleased with the meeting from a quality standpoint,” Jerkens said. “We're finishing especially strong this weekend with the Hollywood Derby and Matriarch fields and I thought the Thanksgiving Week cards were also very good.
“Thanks to the local horsemen, and those who shipped in from out of state, for their support. We knew going in that the bar had been set high last year and there were some issues, not unique to Del Mar, that we'd have to be dealing with.
“When it's all over, we'll take a look at what went right and wrong and evaluate what to do looking forward to next year.”
New to the Paulick Report? Click here to sign up for our daily email newsletter to keep up on this and other stories happening in the Thoroughbred industry.
Copyright © 2019 Paulick Report.