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Del Mar limiting trainers to 40 stalls each during summer meet

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

ARCADIA, Calif. – Del Mar will limit stall allocations to a maximum of 40 runners per trainer at its summer meeting, the track announced Tuesday in a letter to owners and trainers.

The plan is part of an effort to reduce backstretch capacity from approximately 2,100 horses last summer to closer to 1,850 to 1,900 this year, according to Tom Robbins, Del Mar’s vice president in charge of racing.

Robbins said the decision puts Del Mar closer in line with capacity at Santa Anita and will ease traffic on the racetrack during morning training. He said eight to 10 trainers each have had more than 40 stalls or pens at Del Mar and will be affected by the decision.

“We have declared we will not have as many horses on the property as we have in the past,” Robbins said on Wednesday. “We want to be closer to Santa Anita. That’s part of our initiative of cutting back. To cut back, you need to do it across the board and start at the top and work your way down.

“We’re trying to approach the problem in a fair and equitable fashion. It’s a number we hope is more manageable.”

Robbins said the trainers with the largest stables already house horses at offtrack venues such as Los Alamitos or the San Luis Rey Downs training center and can redirect runners to those venues.

Los Alamitos has the capacity for approximately 850 Thoroughbreds who race on the Southern California circuit in addition to housing horses for the track’s nighttime meeting for Quarter Horses and lower-level Thoroughbreds. San Luis Rey Downs can house approximately 500 horses.

The Del Mar summer meeting runs July 19 to Sept. 4. The track will host the Breeders’ Cup races on Nov. 3-4 for the first time. Stabling is not as much of an issue at the track’s autumn meeting because many Southern California stables remain at Santa Anita.

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