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May 27, 2011

Del Mar getting positive indicators for 2011

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - If early indications are any barometer, the 2011 racing season at historic Del Mar Racetrack will be a good one. The 72nd race meeting "where the turf meets the surf" will get underway Wednesday, July 20.

"It's just looking like one of those years," said Del Mar's chief executive officer Joe Harper. "The vibe, as they say, is good. There appears to be lots of interest out there and I think we're going to be in position to combine good business with good fun."

A first day sales record was achieved when the track's ticket office opened for on-line and call-in sales on May 13, More than $300,000 in sales was recorded on the initial day, an increase of better than eight percent over last year.

The track's full compliment of 13 full-season luxury suites are sold out and the sales department said that sales of its three daily-basis suites are proceeding well.

"We've been a magnet for people here in the summer for more than 70 years now," Harper noted. "People come here to work and they come here to play. We're going to do more of the same this year and have some good Del Mar fun while we're at it. You can bet on that."

Del Mar, which opened in 1937 with co-owner Bing Crosby collecting admissions, employs more than 3,800 people. In 2010 the track attracted 662,521 fans for a daily average of almost 18,000.

The track's signature race, the $1 million Pacific Classic, has been set for Sunday, August 28. The 1 1/4-mile stakes will be conducted for the 21st time.

Track executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins said that daily purses will average at least $550,000 for the 37-day meeting.



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