Del Mar Schedule Includes Breeders’ Cup Qualifying Stakes Races

Written By Dave Bontempo on July 6, 2021
del mar schedule

What a wagering double. The 2021 Del Mar schedule sports both a loaded summer card and fall sneak preview.

Its 82nd racing season opens July 16 and runs through September 6. The storied California oval later hosts the Breeders’ Cup November 5 and 6 and will use that 14-race version of the Super Bowl of horse racing to anchor a fall meet running through November 28.

There’s additional enrichment with the return of legendary track announcer Trevor Denman.

Get Up to $200 Back If Your First Bet Loses

TVG Sign-Up Bonus

Summer-meet bettors can wager into a stream of six-figure races via the TVG app, highlighted by the TVG $750,000 Grade I Pacific Classic Aug 21.

Watch for promos close to race day for certain events.

First-time users can also sign up through TheLines for a TVG risk-free bet.

2021 Del Mar Summer Meet: Grade I Stakes Schedule

July 31: Bing Crosby Stakes
Aug 1: Clement L. Hirsch Stakes
Aug. 21: Del Mar Oaks and TVG Pacific Classic
Sept 5: Del Mar Debutante
Sept 6: Runhappy Del Mar Futurity

2021 Del Mar Schedule: Start Times

The first post daily will be 2:00p PST on all days except Fridays. Opening Day Friday will have a 2:00p post and then move to a 4:00p start on most Fridays and 3:30p on August 27 and September 3.

The first two weeks of the Del Mar season feature Friday-through-Sunday racing.  Seven-race Thursday cards will be added July 29, along with a Labor Day Monday card to close the meet.

East Coast horse players love the Del Mar summer start times, which extend their wagering options after the conclusion of afternoon racing at Saratoga, Monmouth and Delaware Park, among others.

Purses Increasing For 2021 Del Mar Schedule

There is a race purse of at least $100,000 on all but two of the racing days (Aug. 14 and 27, with an $80,000 top purse).

In 2020, the track presented 32 major stakes worth $5,175,000. For this year there will be two additional stakes and total purses will be $6,750,000, a value increase of 30%.

Notable in those escalations are an additional quarter-million dollars added to the Grade I TVG Pacific Classic, raising it to $750,000; $150,000 to the Grade II Del Mar Mile making it worth $300,000, and $100,000 each to the Grade II Del Mar Handicap (up to $300,000) and the Grade II San Diego Handicap (now worth $250,000).

2021 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Part of Del Mar Schedule

It will be the second time Del Mar hosts the Breeders’ Cup, the first being 2017. Tickets for the Breeders’ Cup go on sale July 16 at 9:00a PST, coinciding with the Del Mar meet opening. Available seating options and pricing can be viewed at

The summer meet-Breeders’ Cup connection is strengthened by several “Win and You’re In” qualifying racess, giving winning horses and connections automatic admittance and entry fees to parallel Breeders’ Cup races.

Related: Breeders’ Cup Betting Tips

2021 Del Mar Summer Meet: Breeders’ Cup Qualifying Races

July 31: Bing Crosby Stakes (GI; three-year-olds and up) – to qualify for $2 million BC Sprint
Aug 1: Clement L. Hirsch Stakes (GI; fillies & mares, three-year-olds & up) – to qualify for $2 million BC Distaff
Aug 21: Del Mar Handicap (GII; three-year-olds and up) – to qualify for $4 million BC Turf
Aug 21: TVG Pacific Classic (GI; three-year-olds and up) – to qualify for $6 million BC Classic
Aug 28: Pat O’Brien Stakes (GII; three-year-olds & up) – to qualify for $2 million BC Dirt Mile

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Dave Bontempo

Dave Bontempo, who writes extensively on the emergence of legalized sports betting, is a recipient of the Sam Taub Award for Broadcast Excellence by the Boxing Writers Association of America. He has broadcast boxing for all the major networks over the last four decades and is a member of the New Jersey Boxing Hall of Fame as well as the Atlantic City Boxing Hall of Fame. His work also can be seen at the Press of Atlantic City and iGamingPlayer.

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