Homeracing

2017 Del Mar Race Meet Preview

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D.S. Williamson

July 18th, 2017

Del Mar's annual summer meet begins this Wednesday, July 19. Del Mar's Meet runs from July 19 through Sept. 4. As always, some of the best horses in the nation are set to run at Del Mar. The very best horse in the world, Arrogate, is scheduled to run in this Saturday's San Diego Handicap.

Arrogate is pointing towards the Grade 1 Pacific Classic. But, Arrogate isn't the only big name horse running at Del Mar this summer. Because Del Mar offers some of the biggest prizes for turf racing during the entire year, many great turf stars should join Arrogate in the Del Mar Stables.

Check out 5 of Del Mar's biggest summer meet races. It doesn't get any better than Where the Turf Meets the Surf!

Grade 1 Pacific Classic,  August 19

The brilliant California Chrome got away with any easy lead in the 2016 Pacific Classic. The horse that finished behind him, Beholder, is another Cali legend. Beholder won the 2015 running of the P. Classic.

Arrogate is being pointed to this year's Pacific Classic. He might not face much competition. Most of the big name horses in the world figure to stay away from Bob Baffert's trainee until they must face him in this year's Breeders' Cup Classic.

Grade 1 Del Mar Oaks, August 19

The Del Mar Oaks is one of my favorite races of the year. It's always a challenge to handicap. The Oaks is for 3-year-old fillies going 1 1/8 miles over the turf. Maybe, that's why I love the race so much. It can become a jockeys race before you know it. Many of the 3-year-old fillies that hit the turf when Del Mar runs the Oaks are just hitting their peak form. That's what makes the race so great.

Grade 1 Bing Crosby, July 29

Bing created Del Mar Racetrack. He said that he wanted a place for his friends and he to hang out at during the summer. Del Mar was perfect. Some of the greatest sprinters in history, including the great Kona Gold and Lit de Justice, have won the Bing Crosby.

Last year, Lord Nelson won the Bing Crosby. Baffert trained Lord Nelson, who was on his way to greatness before getting hurt before the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Baffert is pointing last year's BC Sprint winner Drefong to the Bing Crosby.

Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante, Sept. 2

Del Mar runs a couple of the most prestigious races for 2-year-olds during the year. The first is the Grade 1 Del Mar Debutante for 2-year-old fillies. Songbird won the Del Mar Debutante in 2015. Union Strike won it last year. Other horses that have taken home the Del Mar Debutante tiara are Landaluce in 1982, Excellent Meeting in 1998, and Executiveprivelege, over Beholder, in 2012.

Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity, Sept. 4

The second big time race for 2-year-olds at the Del Mar Meet is the Grade 1 Del Mar Futurity. The Futurity has produced some of the biggest three-year-olds to ever run. Although Klimt's three-year-old season didn't turn out to be all that spectacular, there was nothing wrong with Nyquist's 3-year-old season in 2016.

Nyquist won the Del Mar Futurity in 2015. Who won the Del Mar Futurity in 2014? American Pharoah. Even if you don't plan on wagering on the Del Mar Futurity, make sure to watch the race.  The winner could end up as next year's 3-year-old star.

The races above aren't the only reason to pay attention to the 2017 Del Mar Summer Meet. The 2017 Breeders' Cup takes place at Where the Turf Meets the Surf. Stars that shine brightest over Del Mar's turf and dirt tracks, might shine brightest during the Breeders' Cup.
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