Del Mar race track facts and information

In the 1930's, the Depression affected Del Mar, as well as the rest of the country. However, in 1933, in spite of the grim times, the eight members of the 22nd Agricultural District had a vision for a county fairgrounds to be located in Del Mar, which set the town on its current path. These eight intrepid visionaries were successful in purchasing the current site with a $25,000 grant from the State Department of Fairs & Expositions and the first county fair was held in October 1936. Even before the first fair was held, it was felt that the addition of a racetrack to the fairgrounds would be an asset and would be self-supporting.

 Because of the climate and the seclusion the area offered, film stars were frequent visitors to the area. Among them was Bing Crosby, who was a racing enthusiast, and he turned out to be instrumental in the development of the Del Mar Racetrack. He and the fair board agreed on a lease arrangement with the newly created Del Mar Turf Club for $35,000. Serving on the Turf Club's first Board of Directors was Bing Crosby as President, Pat O'Brien as Vice President, with Oliver Hardy, Joe E. Brown, Gary Cooper, Leo McCary and others serving on the executive boards. The initial funding met with repeated setbacks and Bing Crosby and Pat O'Brien put up personal loans against their own life insurance to the fair district without interest at one point. When the Del Mar Racetrack opened on July 3, 1937, Bing Crosby was there to greet the first horse fans through the gates at Del Mar.

The race track enjoyed moderate success from its opening, but the race that put Del Mar on the map was a race pitting Seabiscuit, from Charles Howard's stable, against the best thoroughbred of the day, Ligaroti. Seabiscuit won and set a new record for the distance in that race.

A day at Del Mar race track

Del Mar Post Times

Post Times 2:00 p.m.

Mar Track Layout

 Main Track: One Mile, oval.

 Turf Course: Seven eighth's Mile.

Distance from last turn to finish line: 919 feet

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