Del Mar Meet to Open Early Without Fans

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By Emily Shields

Thanks to the cancelation of the San Diego County Fair, the 2020 Del Mar Thoroughbred Club meeting will open early – July 10 instead of July 18. The meet will be conducted without fans, which is a response to the coronavirus pandemic happening across the country.

Del Mar’s meeting includes several major stakes, such as the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic (G1) won last year by Higher Power. Other recent stars to take the race include Beholder and Accelerate.

Additional stakes races slated are the Del Mar Futurity and Del Mar Debutante for juveniles, the Del Mar Oaks and Del Mar Derby for three-year-olds on the grass, and the Clement L. Hirsch for older fillies and mares.

No decision has yet been made on racing in Saratoga, but Keeneland, another track that receives a lot of coverage via TVG, is slated to have a no-spectator summer meet for the first time. It will open July 8 and run through July 12, with the canceled spring meet races, such as the $600,000 Toyota Blue Grass (G2) and the $400,000 Central Bank Ashland (G1) scheduled to take place during that time. They will hold points towards the Kentucky Oaks and Derby. Del Mar’s Shared Belief Stakes, won last year by Improbable, will also have Kentucky Derby points, with 50 going to the winner.

Watch TVG for continued coverage of racing during the coronavirus pandemic.

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