DEL MAR — The board of directors of the 22nd District Agricultural Association voted at its March 10 meeting to eliminate horse racing on Mondays during the summer at the fairgrounds. Acting on a recommendation from the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which conducts the horse racing season, the board voted to do away with Monday racing except on Labor Day during the season scheduled to run July 22 through Sept. 9
The 22nd District Agricultural Association is the state agency that has jurisdiction over the fairgrounds.
Craig Fravel, the Thoroughbred Club’s executive vice president, said a five-day weekly schedule is a cost-saving measure. Traditionally, the track has been dark only on Tuesdays.
In the l930s and 1940s, there was no Sunday racing in Southern California; however, the Agua Caliente racetrack in Tijuana conducted l2 races on Sundays. The two major Southland tracks — Santa Anita and Hollywood Park — race Wednesdays through Sundays, as will be the case at Del Mar this summer.
The California Horse Racing Board must approve Del Mar’s new schedule. Approval is expected.
Fravel said the Thoroughbred Club’s major objective will be to continue to provide the top quality product that has established Del Mar as one of the premier tracks in the country. With fewer racing days, every race will be more competitive because there will be at least eight horses entered in every event, Fravel said.
Fravel said stables have been downsized due to current conditions. He added a budget has been developed for less days of racing and conditions will be monitored to make adjustments when necessary. Fravel said it is based on current economic conditions and could be affected by changing trends.