Close of entries and the post position draw for Friday's card at Del Mar were still a few hours away Tuesday morning as Executive Vice Racing Tom Robbins looked over the first two programs of the meeting.
“We're happy with the first two days, given the lower inventory of horses in California this year and other circumstances,” Robbins said. “We're doing our best to put together the best races we can on a five-day-a-week basis, but we know that it's going to be a challenge.”
Wednesday's opening day 10-race program drew 81 entries and had eight horses on also eligible status. On Thursday, the seven-race program has 59 total entries and two also eligibles.
The Santa Anita and Los Alamitos meetings which precede Del Mar both wound up cancelling racing days, something that Robbins and Racing Secretary David Jerkens hope to avoid by reducing the number of races. The aim is for 40 races per week, down from an average of 43 per week in 2018.
Jerkens' mantra, since taking over racing secretary duties five summers ago, had been “One day at a time.”
To which Robbins, in his 39th year at Del Mar, adds an 'Amen.'
“It's very true, this year,” Robbins said.
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