SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Live racing in Del Mar is back with Opening Day of the fall meet. The Bing Crosby racing season will go through Nov. 28.
“Even more excited, of course, that Breeders’ Cup is only a couple of days away,” said longtime Del Mar racing fan Lori Shelton. “I think that people who don’t know horse racing or don’t come that often don’t understand that this truly is the superbowl of horse racing, so I am thrilled.”
Del Mar will welcome visitors from around the world as it hosts the Breeders’ Cup for a second time.
Racing officials and veterinarians held a news conference detailing safety protocols for the Breeders’ Cup, and also addressing the death of a filly that became loose during a training exercise Wednesday morning.
The horse badly injured her shoulder and had to be euthanized after being checked out by several vets.
“Unfortunately, due to the extent of the injuries, the horse could not be saved; the entire Del Mar team extends our condolences to her connections," said Josh Rubinstein, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president. "Despite being saddened by this news, it’s important to note there has been significant progress in the area of equine safety and welfare over the last several years.”
Rubinstein said Del Mar has been listed as one of the safest major racetracks in the industry for the last three years. Extra safety measures are in place this year as well.
“Horses that are competing in one of the 14 championship races had a mandatory security check-in Tuesday, Nov. 2 at 11 AM; this is 96 hours for our Saturday runners and a full day earlier than 2020,"
said Dora Delgado, chief racing officer for the Breeders’ Cup. "Also, new for 2021, undercard runners must arrive for their security check-ins 48 hours before they race.”
“Our equine teams are looking for any illicit actions with the horse,” she explained. “But more than that, they’re documenting the visits to the horse and its stall; whether it’s by the trainer and his staff, by an approved veterinarian, by a CHRB veterinarian. We just want to maintain a log of visits to what has been done with that animal from the time it goes under its mandatory check-in until the time it races.”
The Breeders' Cup begins Friday.