It’s been a fantastic year, from the Super Bowl to March Madness to the NBA Finals. Now, throw in the Triple Crown races and you have a proper sports montage.
Baseball is zipping along and college and pro football seasons are on deck. And as of this week, we have reached the halfway point of Del Mar’s 31-day summer racing season.
• Last Saturday, we celebrated radio show number 80 since we moved our tack to The Mightier 1090 AM. We started it in 1995 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the years, nothing surprises me anymore. I truly believe anything can happen. This year we have had some great memories and major highlights for the ages. And down the stretch, they come.
• Sonny Leon won his first Kentucky Derby on an 80-1 long shot that made the entry deadline by 7 minutes and then won the Run for the Roses. The colt Rich Strike paid $163.80 to win.
• The Padres are donning new colors and uniforms, and their fans make sure games sell out. The city of San Diego is crazy about its home team. The millennials lead the way. Then we go from the penthouse to the outhouse. Read on…
• Opening Day at Del Mar Racetrack: You can hate all day long, but it’s larger than life. Quite frankly, there’s nothing like it anywhere. The first day gets more colorful every year.
• Petco Park: The best sports feeling you can experience when strolling downtown and seeing the Padres and a packed stadium come alive. Petco Park is tremendous, and the Padres fans love their boys.
• MLB will have three divisional champions, and three wild card teams compete for the World Series for 12 teams in both leagues.
• The Jockeys Karaoke Night: After last year’s event was canceled, the show to benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund sprouted up at the legendary Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach two weeks ago. This fundraiser was a solid reminder of the graciousness of the racing community and management at Belly Up. Every jockey (man and woman) sang and participated. The event raised some nice cash for a great cause.
• Fernando Tatis Jr … I want to give you the benefit of the doubt. But, you missed the last seven weeks of 2019 with stress back problems. You have appeared in 273 games out of 546. In February, the Padres extended your contract to a 14-year $340 million deal. And you have been out all season. Now an 80-game suspension? You must make better decisions (motorcycle and clostebol, a derivative of testosterone and anabolic steroids). You are the face of this ball club. Owner Peter Seidler and GM AJ Preller deserve better. And so do the fantastic San Diego faithful.
• The Top 5 Jockeys at Del Mar Racetrack: 1. Juan Hernandez (27 wins); 2. Umberto Rispoli (15); 3. Joe Bravo (12); 4. Ramon Vasquez (10); and 5. Hector Berrios (8).
• Bob Baffert won his 149th stakes race at the seaside oval for his big gun owners Mike Peagram, Karl Watson and Paul Weitman. Baffert is tied for 10 wins with trainer Doug O’Neill.
• Day No.16 of 31 racing days starts Thursday. Juan Hernandez is riding lights out as the leading rider with seven stakes wins. Joe Bravo is in the zone, and keep your eyes open for Ramon Vasquez and Hector Berrios. Bravo has been tremendous, and Berrios has been a significant new face.
Del Mar Racetrack by the numbers…
• Average number of turf course runners: 9.90
• Average number of main track runners: 8.83
• On track attendance (15 days): 155,927 (10,395 daily average), a 24% increase from ’21.
• Total handle (15 days): $297,044,168 ($19,802,045 daily average), up 6.7% from ’21.
•On track handle: $25,580,826 ($1,705,388 daily average), a 12.7% increase.
Next week … A look at the start of the college football season .. what to look for? It’s going to be BIG! Don’t miss it!
Join us on the radio at 9 a.m. on Saturday mornings at The Mightier 1090 AM ESPN Radio!