Posted by Sharon Schendel on Jul 24, 2018
Bill Dougherty (right) introduces Del Mar Thoroughbred Club CEO Joe Harper (left)
Fresh off another successful Opening Day, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (DMTC) CEO Joe Harper was our speaker at the July 19, 2018 meeting. Joe was a little late to the meeting as he was meeting with state legislators who were visiting the track that morning. When he visited us last year, Del Mar was gearing up to host its first ever Breeder’s Cup in November 2017. At Del Mar the Breeder’s Cup saw its highest ever on-track handle, which was up by 21% relative to the 2016 handle despite having only half as many attendees. Joe explained that the Del Mar facility offered more high-end tickets and the smaller attendance can actually increase the number of bets placed as fans have easier and faster access to betting windows.
An economic impact report indicated that the Breeder’s Cup brought more than 100 million dollars to the area from hotel bookings and spending at restaurants and other local businesses. Apparently the only complaint nearby restaurants had was that they didn’t have enough high-end wine on hand. Joe is hopeful that this impressive debut performance will set the stage for many return visits to Del Mar by the Breeder’s Cup.
Joe expects the 2018 summer meet, which runs through September 3, to be another success. They have another great concert series planned, and this year they’ll have Brigantine Wednesdays with free admission (for Diamond Club members- it’s free to join) and famous fish tacos from The Brigantine. There are plenty of other events planned for this year, including a return of the Food Truck Festival, Craft Beer Festival and Burgers and Brews, among others.  The DMTC will again generously host members of the Rotary Club of Del Mar on August 16- but consider visiting the track in advance to brush up your betting prowess so that our “Sick Picks” will be more successful this year.