Del Mar | Eclipse Sportswire
Del Mar will present a “baby bonus” to horsemen who run 2-year-olds in open maiden special weight races this summer at the seaside track, offering a 25% boost to purse winnings on top of their regular payouts.
There are two provisos that go with the arrangement. The races can be run short or long, but must be run on dirt. And in order to qualify for the bonus monies, the trainer involved must have fewer than 50 horses stabled in Southern California.
“What we’re primarily trying to do with this ‘bonus’ plan is to encourage our ‘smaller’ outfits to get quality 2-year-old runners and enter them in our key building block events for our young horses,” said Tom Robbins, Del Mar’s executive vice president for racing. “Our ‘big’ trainers–about a half-dozen or so guys who have large strings on the circuit–understand what we’re doing with this program and are in favor of it. They want and need competition to make those key maiden special weight races go, so this kind of encouragement works for both the big guy and the little guy.”
Del Mar’s 36-day summer season–the 80th at its shore headquarters–gets underway on Wednesday, July 17 and runs through Labor Day Monday, Sept. 2.