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Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (Del Mar, CA)
(Racing Dates: 07/10/2020 - 09/07/2020, 10/31/2020 - 11/29/2020 )
The Del Mar Fairgrounds is a 370-acre (1.5 km2) event venue in Del Mar, California. The annual San Diego County Fair is held here, which was called the Del Mar Fair from 1984 to 2001. In 1936, the Del Mar racetrack was built by the Thoroughbred Club with founding member Bing Crosby providing leadership.
The Fairgrounds is owned by the State of California and is managed by the 22nd District Agricultural Association, a state agency that hosts more than 300 annual events. Its staff organizes four major annual events, including the annual San Diego County Fair, and runs Surfside Race Place, the year-round satellite horse racing facility.
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club leases the facilities for their live meets each year. The Del Mar Fairgrounds and Del Mar Thoroughbred Club all share just one address for the entire complex, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar CA 92014.
After the successful opening of the Santa Anita Park racetrack in Arcadia, California on Christmas Day 1934, William A. Quigley, stockbroker, former college football coach, and resident of La Jolla formed the idea of starting a racetrack on the Del Mar Fairgrounds. He successfully pitched this to Bing Crosby, and together they founded the Del Mar turf Club on May 6, 1936.
Quigley would remain General Manager of the racetrack until his death at the age of 49 in 1942. When Del Mar opened in 1937, Bing Crosby was at the gate to personally greet the fans. On August 12, 1938, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club hosted a $25,000 winner-take-all match race between Charles S. Howard's Seabiscuit and the Binglin Stable's colt, Ligaroti.
In an era when horse racing ranked second in popularity with Americans to Major League Baseball, the match race was much written and talked about and was the first nationwide broadcast of a Thoroughbred race by NBC radio. In the race, Seabiscuit was ridden by jockey George Woolf and Ligaroti by Noel Richardson. In front of a record crowd that helped make the fledgling Del Mar race track a success, Seabiscuit won by a nose. READ MORE!
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