Work began Friday on a new, expanded turf course at the Del Mar Race Track.
The project will cost just under $5 million and will include widening the green to 80 feet with 10.7 acres of grass to allow for 14 horses, four more than what the current course allows.
Grass for the project is being grown in the Coachella Valley and could be installed as early as January 2014.
Plans for the turf expansion have been in the works for ten years and the move should result in added safety for horses and riders, according to Del Mar president Joe Harper.
“We shut out a lot of horses because we don’t have room,” Harper said. “Now we’re going to have a safer course and a much more productive course, both financially and volume wise.”
The new course also means Del Mar would be eligible to host the Breeders’ Cup Championship as soon as November 2015.