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Apr 20, 2012

75th season at Del Mar includes Oak Tree

By: SPORTS NETWORK


Del Mar, CA (Sports Network) - Historic Del Mar Racetrack, "where the turf meets the surf," will begin its 75th season on July 18 for a 37-day meeting. The summer meet, ending on Sept. 5, will include two stakes with Oak Tree in their names.

"Having the Oak Tree name linked with that of Del Mar's is an honor for both groups," said Del Mar's chief executive officer and president Joe Harper. "Oak Tree stands for the best in this business; they always did and they always will. Clement Hirsch, my mentor, was an original founder of both Oak Tree and the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and my first job in racing management was with him at Oak Tree. I couldn't be happier to see us in a way come together again."

The Oak Tree Juvenile Turf and Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf, a pair of new stakes for two-year-olds, will each be worth $100,000 and run at a mile on the Jimmy Durante Turf Course. The Oak Tree Juvenile Fillies Turf will be run on Labor Day and the Oak Tree Juvenile Turf will be conducted closing day.

Oak Tree, which is partially funding the two new juvenile stakes, is also supplying funds for the Palomar Handicap. This year the Palomar will be renamed the Yellow Ribbon Handicap, a stakes that had been part of the inactive racing association's longtime schedule. The Yellow Ribbon will also be conducted on Labor Day with a $250,000 purse.

"We are projecting good things for this anniversary summer, especially on our high end," said Del Mar's executive vice president for racing and racing secretary Tom Robbins. "If you've got good horses, we've got good places to go with them. And we're leading the charge with tracks around the state that are rewarding owners for buying and racing California-breds. Our breeding industry is heading for a turnaround and our Cal-bred purses will help to show the way."

For the 22nd time, the $1 million Pacific Classic will be the premier event at Del Mar. The 1 1/4-mile race on the main track will be held on Sunday, August 26. Last year's Classic was won by Acclamation, the 2011 Eclipse Award winner as champion older male thoroughbred.

A total of 43 stakes will run during the 75th Del Mar season with a total of $7,775 million.



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