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Del Mar Adds Extra Day To Racing Weekend To Make Up For COVID-19 Cancellations

View from the grandstand at the Del Mar racetrack, July 11, 2017.
Alison St John
View from the grandstand at the Del Mar racetrack, July 11, 2017.

After this weekend's racing cancellation at Del Mar due to more than a dozen jockeys testing positive for COVID-19, racing officials announced Friday that the summer meet will resume the following weekend with an additional day of races.

Racing is slated to resume July 24 in what will now be a four-day race week, adding Monday, July 27, to account for the lost weekend.

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club executive vice president for racing Tom Robbins said, "Adding a race card on Monday, July 27 provides our horsemen and women with additional opportunities to run their horses."


Robbins said the other two lost days from this weekend's previously scheduled races will be made up later in the season, on dates to be determined.

RELATED: Del Mar Cancels Weekend Racing Due To COVID-19 Among Jockeys

"We applaud Del Mar's management for quickly adapting during these unprecedented times," said Nick Alexander, chairman of the Thoroughbred Owners of California. "Winning a race at Del Mar is special and a four-day race week will provide our members with additional opportunities to do so."

On Wednesday, racing officials announced 15 jockeys had tested positive for COVID-19, most of whom were believed to be asymptomatic.

Del Mar's CEO Joe Harper said, "Canceling this weekend's races will give us additional time to monitor the situation and give the individuals who tested positive additional time to recover."


RELATED: Jockey Tests Positive For COVID-19 During This Weekends Races At Del Mar

Racing officials also instituted new travel restrictions to include only permitting jockeys based in California, and prohibiting all local jockeys who leave the track to ride at other venues from returning to Del Mar for the remainder of the summer racing season.

The Del Mar season opened last Friday without fans in the stands due to the pandemic. Racing officials also instituted a number of health and safety measures aimed at preventing any potential spread of the virus, including daily on-site health screening for all personnel, including temperature checks, face covering and social distancing requirements, additional handwashing and sanitizer stations and regular disinfecting of all common areas, the addling/paddock area and starting gate.

The meet is slated to conclude on Labor Day, Sept. 7.

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