Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will conduct its 80th summer racing season beginning Wednesday led by a seasoned collection of veteran racing officials.
As they have for the past six years, Tom Robbins and David Jerkens will team up to run the show out of the seaside track's racing department.
Robbins, who hails from one of California's great racing families, will be starting his 39th year at Del Mar as he heads up a crew of more than 80 racing department staff in his role as the track's executive vice president, racing and industry relations. Jerkens, a member of one of the east coast's great racing clans, has made his mark in the west and will be heading up the track's racing office as its racing secretary for the sixth straight summer.
Also on board for the 36-day, seven week run through the summer will be assistant racing secretary Zachary Soto, returning for his 29th summer at Del Mar and racing veteran Ed Reese, serving as the track's stakes coordinator for the second time. Other key personnel in the department include stable superintendents Jackie Lynn and Tom Fator, jockey room clerk of scales Matt Nichols and his assistant, Charles McCaul, and clerk of the course Dawn Schmid.
In the stewards' stand will be the trio of Kim Sawyer (in her 11th season at Del Mar), Grant Baker (in his sixth season) and John Herbuveaux (second season). Joining them will be the track's safety steward, Luis Jauregui, who has worked in that role since 2009.
Del Mar's placing judges will be Robert Moreno, Sue Brent and Reese doing double duty. Additionally, Heather Correa will serve as a patrol judge along with Brent, while Karen Denovel will work as both a paddock and patrol judge.
The track's veterinarian crew will consist of three CHRB “official” veterinarians: Dr. Barrie Grant, D.V.M., Dr. Will Farmer, D.V.M. and Dr. Tim Grande, D.V.M. The track will have four other veterinarians: Dr. Dana Stead, D.V.M.; Dr. Nolton Pattio, D.V.M.; Dr. Alina Vale, D.V.M. and Dr. Laurie Bohannon, D.V.M.
Other noteworthy officials for the session – which will have racing on a Wednesday-through-Sunday basis each week and finish on Labor Day Monday, September 2 – include Bridget Crawford, paymaster of purses; Jennifer Paige, horse identifier; Russell Hudak, morning line maker and officer timer, and Victor Tovar, horseshoe identifier.
Leif Dickinson is back for his 20th year as Del Mar's turf and landscape superintendent, while main track guru Dennis Moore comes back around for his third summer as director of track maintenance.
Yet another returnee for the meeting is veteran head starter Jay Slender, spending his sixth year at the shore.
First post throughout the stand will be at 2 p.m. on all days but Fridays when racing begins at 4 p.m. throughout the meeting.
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