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Del Mar to race earlier in July without fans

2017 Breeders' Cup World Championships at Del Mar-Day 2

DEL MAR, CA NOVEMBER 4: Wuheida with William Buick up wins the Breeders Cup Filly & Mare Turf at Del Mar Race Track on November 4, 2017 in Del Mar, California (Photo by Horsephotos/Getty Images)

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DEL MAR, Calif. -- Del Mar will open its summer racing season on July 10 without fans in attendance and follow safety protocols to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club said it will race on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays pending the approval of the California Horse Racing Board at its June 11 meeting.

The meet was originally scheduled to open July 18. Del Mar officials say that because the San Diego Fair was canceled this year, it has allowed racing surfaces to be prepared earlier and horses will be able to be on-track sooner. The fairgrounds and racetrack are on adjoining seaside property north of San Diego.

Del Mar CEO Joe Harper says the meet is “going to look different, it’s going to feel different, but it’s going to be first-class horse racing at Del Mar and in these unusual times that’s something to look forward to.”

Racing at Santa Anita in Arcadia is scheduled to end June 21. Los Alamitos in Orange County will run a thoroughbred meet June 26-July 5. Both tracks are operating live racing without fans and with only essential personnel under COVID-19 protocols.

Wagering on Del Mar’s races will continue remotely via online platforms and at off-track locations nationwide. In 2019, 90% of wagering on Del Mar’s races occurred off-track.