Del Mar Thoroughbred Horse Racing, San Diego’s most stylish and thrilling annual event, is back for its 72nd season where the turf meets the surf in Del Mar, kicking off with Opening Day festivities on July 20 and running through September 7, 2011.
Boasting seven jam-packed weeks of world-class Thoroughbred horse racing and weekly free concerts and events, all paired with VIP allure and a soothing ocean breeze, the legendary Del Mar Racing season is something every local and visitor must experience first-hand.
The Del Mar Racetrack attracts an average of 17,000 visitors every day, and among the crowd are such celebrity fans as Kevin Costner, Uma Thurman, Gwen Stefani, Luke Wilson, and Drew Brees. Although the stars always come out to play and make bets, Del Mar offers something for affluent and budget-conscious attendees alike. To help you make the most of your experience, follow our guide to the best of 2011 Del Mar Thoroughbred Horse Racing season.
Opening Day: On Wednesday, July 20, the world-famous Opening Day spectacle is expected to bring in over 40,000 decked-out attendees. The “One and Only Truly Fabulous Hat Contest” is the most eye-catching element of Opening Day. This annual tradition encourages women and men to buy or create glamorous and wacky hats of all shapes and sizes to compete for a slew of incredible prizes, and of course, the title of Best Hat in a variety of stylish categories. This year there is an Opening Day party at the Coors Light Trackside Pavilion within the Stretch Run, featuring live music by Common Sense in between races. Almost equal in excitement are the Opening Day after parties. This year’s hottest bashes will be held at Burlap Del Mar, L’Auberge Del Mar, Flavor Del Mar, Club M at Grand Del Mar, and Bar West in Pacific Beach. Stay tuned for VIP party details and guest list access.
Style Guide: Fashion is always at the forefront of Del Mar Racing lifestyle, especially over-the-top, opulent headwear. Over the years we’ve seen everything from 3-foot tall floral and feather creations, to beautiful wide-brimmed classics and even a true-to-form replica of the Racetrack fastened as a hat. From new local designers to go-to local boutiques, get the scoop in our Del Mar hats shopping guide.
Concert Calendar: Del Mar’s popular concert series, 4 O’ Clock Fridays, features a show after the last Thoroughbred horse race of the day every Friday, as well as bonus Saturdays. This tradition of local sound began in 1994, and since then Del Mar has brought you such big name acts as Billy Idol, Jason Mraz, and Gnarls Barkley. The 2011 summer series kicks off on Friday, July 22 with G Love & Special Sauce. Friday, July 29 features the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, followed by a Reggae Fest starring Ziggly Marley on Saturday, July 30. More must-see shows include The Bravery on August 5, Weezer on August 6, Devo on August 19, and Ben Harper on September 6. Most concerts are free with racetrack admission. Scope the full Del Mar Racing concerts line-up.
Racing & Betting 101: Thoroughbred horse racing is the name of the game at the Del Mar Racetrack. Post times are 2pm every day except Friday, and Friday offers a late post time of 4pm. There are multiple races every day, and you can make as many bets on as many races as you want. But, in order to make a bet at Del Mar, you first need to learn the lingo. Here is your new bible for betting terminology.
- Win: Collect if your horse wins.
- Place: Collect if your horse wins or is 2nd.
- Show: Collect if your horse wins or is 2nd or 3rd.
- Exacta: Collect if you select two horses to finish 1st and 2nd in exact order.
- Quinella: Collect if you select the first 2 finishers in either order.
- Trifecta: Collect if you select three horses to finish 1st, 2nd and 3rd in exact order.
- Superfecta: You collect if you select four horses to finish 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th in exact order.
- Box Term indicates that all selections, in all possible finish orders, are covered.
- Daily Double: You collect if you pick the horses who win each of two designated races.
- Pick 3: You collect if you pick the horses who win each of three designated races.
- Pick 4: You collect if you pick the horses who win each of four designated races.
- Super High 5: You collect if you pick the horses who run 1st through 5th in exact order.
- Pick 6: You collect if you pick the horses who win each of six designated races.
Del Mar Thoroughbred Racing is the hottest San Diego event of the summer, and you do not want to miss out. Dress in style, learn your lingo and head to Del Mar to try your luck and enjoy free weekly concerts all season long, starting July 20 and running through September 7, 2011. The Del Mar Racetrack is located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., just blocks from the beach in Del Mar. Tickets range in price depending on your level of purchase, starting at just $6 for Stretch Run Admission. For more information, please visit dmtc.com.
See for Yourself: View our photo galleries of Del Mar Racetrack Opening Day and After Parties.
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