That was the assurance that Del Mar CEO Joe Harper had to make time and again before the Breeders’ Cup was staged for the first time at the seaside racetrack last November.
Going back many years, there were people who never envisioned that horse racing’s two days of world championships could be a success at a laid-back, beach-city venue without behemoth grandstands.
“There was a general feeling on the board at the time of, ‘Can this track handle it?’ ” Harper said.
“They really didn’t understand. It’s not a knock on them. It was just always about attendance and getting people in. But it’s about getting the right people here.
“I was never...