Del Mar, Stronach Group Offer $1-Million ‘California’ Bonus

Emily Shields
Emily Shields

Del Mar and The Stronach Group have announced an offer of a $1-million bonus to a horse who sweeps this year’s TVG Pacific Classic, the Xpressbet Awesome Again Stakes and the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

The three Grade I races, all open to 3-year-olds and up, are scheduled to be run on Saturday, August 20 (TVG Pacific Classic at Del Mar), Saturday, October 1 (Xpressbet Awesome Again Stakes at Santa Anita Park) and Saturday, November 5 (Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita Park).

The $1,000,000 TVG Pacific Classic and the $5,000,000 Breeders’ Cup Classic are both run at a mile and one quarter. The $300,000 Xpressbet Awesome Again is contested at a mile and one eighth.

“A big part of our business is to bring our fans the stars of the game,” said Del Mar’s executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins. “A bonus like this is an extra added incentive for the best horses to come to Southern California and aim for our biggest prizes. With the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita again this year, it is a gold lining on a natural path for a potential champion.”

Santa Anita will host the Breeders’ Cup for a record ninth time this year on Friday and Saturday, November 4 and 5.

“With the Breeders’ Cup coming back here in November, we are delighted to be part of this million dollar bonus and we’re hopeful it will help to encourage some of the best horses in the world to headquarter and run here in Southern California,” said Joe Morris, vice president, West Coast Operations, for The Stronach Group. “We’d like to thank Del Mar for working with us on this and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to another great Breeders’ Cup meet at Santa Anita Park in the fall.”

The three Southern California races pay winning purses of $600,000 (TVG Pacific Classic), $180,000 (Xpressbet Awesome Again) and $2,750,000 (Breeders’ Cup Classic). A horse sweeping all three would be looking at potential purse earnings of $3,530,000, plus a cherry-on-top additional $1,000,000, all in a period of 11 weeks.

“As the proud sponsor of Del Mar’s marquee event – the TVG Pacific Classic – we are excited about the investment to attract the sport’s top horses to race in California this summer and fall,” said Kip Levin, CEO of TVG/Betfair US. “We applaud our partners at Del Mar and Santa Anita for their creativity.”

No horse has won all three of the bonus races in one year. One, however – the $7.7-million earner Pleasantly Perfect – did capture the trio, though it was in different seasons. Several other horses, including Bertrando, Lava Man, Richard’s Kid, Game On Dude and Shared Belief, have won two of the three races.

Del Mar’s summer race meet goes from Friday, July 15 to Monday, September 5. Santa Anita Park’s fall session will run from Thursday, September 29 to Sunday, November 6.

Del Mar is scheduled to hold the Breeders’ Cup for the first time in 2017 on November 3 and 4.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

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