After Breeders' Cup, Del Mar keeps bettors in action

After Breeders' Cup, Del Mar keeps bettors in action

November 07, 2018 3:00 AM


The Breeders’ Cup for 2018 may be over, but racing in Southern California moves on

The Del Mar Fall Racing Festival meet will open for their fifth season this Friday, and with the change in venues from Santa Anita come some important changes in the wagering menu.

Del Mar is the only So Cal track to still offer the $1 Place Pick All and a $2 Quinella. The Pick Six at Del Mar will be similar to the format used during their summer meet. The minimum bet is $2, and it is a jackpot format with the carryover pool to be paid out when there is a single Pick Six ticket winner. 

Seventy percent of the handle after takeout is paid out to the tickets with the most winners, with 15 percent of the handle paid out to tickets with the next highest amount of winners. The other 15 percent will go to the jackpot carryover pool. There will once again an early and late Pick Five. The early Pick Five on races one thru five has the player-friendly 14 percent takeout. The late Pick Five has the normal 23.68 percent takeout rate and will be on the last five races daily.

There is one difference in the Pick Five wagers during Del Mar. Should there be a single ticket winner in the Pick Five, Del Mar guarantees a $500,000 payout on weekdays and a $1 million payout on any weekend day.

There are two other changes that could affect the horseplayers:

Unlike the Del Mar summer meet when almost all barns ship from Santa Anita and train at Del Mar, the vast majority of stables based at Santa Anita will remain at Santa Anita and ship down to race. It is possible that those stables who ship down to train and race may have a slight advantage, so keep a close eye on barns like Peter Miller, Doug O’Neill, Phil D’Amato, Bob Hess Jr., and Bill Spawr, as they plan to bring their barns to Del Mar for the meet.

The other change involves medication. The California Horse Racing Board has enacted a new rule starting with the second week of the Del Mar meet November 15 that will not allow for any presence of the medication Clenbuterol to show up in a post-race drug test. The medication is legal to be used in training, but the recommended withdrawal time of 21 days could affect field sizes as stables are forced to make quick adjustments to the new rule. Smaller field sizes are the biggest negative for handle.

First post time each racing day at Del Mar will be 12:30 p.m., except for Thanksgiving Day when an 11 a.m. first post will be in effect.

Rules Made to
be Broken

It looks like 2018 is the year rules were made to be broken in horse racing, such as:

• A horse that did not race as a 2-year-old can’t win the Kentucky Derby. Justify not only became the first horse since Apollo in 1882 to win the Kentucky Derby, he became the first horse unraced as a juvenile to win the Triple Crown.

• It is too difficult to win the prestigious Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in France and the Breeders’ Cup Turf in the same year. Seven horses had tried and failed until Enable was able to accomplish the historic feat this year. Hats off to trainer John Gosden, who proved once again he is the best at bringing Euros to the U.S. to win important races. 

• California trainer John Sadler can’t win a Breeders’ Cup race. Things looked bleak again for Sadler after Catalina Cruiser failed to fire in the Breeders’ Cup Mile and he ran his Breeders’ Cup record to 0-for-44 when Catapult ran a too-good-to-lose second in the Breeders’ Cup Mile. But Sadler got the gorilla off his back in the best way when Accelerate validated his superior California form with a gutty victory in the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic. This was a well-deserved win for both horse and trainer.

• It is extremely difficult for sprinters to hold their form for extended periods of time. Trainer Peter Miller not only saddled Roy H to a repeat win in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, but he also got a repeat win out of Stormy Liberal in the Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint. With the Breeders’ Cup returning to Santa Anita in 2019 and both geldings set to remain in training, could a three-peat by either or both be possible? Unbelievable training accomplishment by Miller. 

With entries for opening day at Del Mar being taken after press time, we will go to Golden Gate for our Gaming Today play this week. Friday Race 4 – J T’s A.T.M. (No. 8). Three-year-old gelding got a feel for the Golden Gate turf Oct 19. He should be able to clear the field early and gets a positive rider switch to Gonzalez. Catch him to win.