The Del Mar Racetrack, San Diego’s most stylish and thrilling annual event, is back for its 71st season, kicking off with Opening Day festivities on July 21 and running through September 8, 2010.
Boasting seven jam-packed weeks of world-class Thoroughbred horse racing and weekly free concerts and events, the legendary Del Mar Racetrack season is something every local and visitor must experience first-hand. But first, let’s party…
Party Time: DiscoverSD.com is a proud supporter of the L’Auberge Del Mar and 944 Magazine Opening Day After Party on July 21. This celebrity-studded VIP event was one of the best parties of 2009, and this year’s soiree is slated to be even better. Sign-up to win tickets!
The Del Mar Racetrack attracts an average of 17,000 visitors every day, and among the crowd are such celebrity icon fans as Gwen Stefani, Luke Wilson and the entire cast of Entourage. Although the stars always come out to play and make bets, the Del Mar Races offer something for affluent and budget-conscious event-goers alike. To help you make the most of the races, here's a guide to the best of Del Mar.
Opening Day: On July 21, 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. Almost equal in style and class to the hat contest is the Opening Day After Party at L’Auberge Del Mar. Win VIP tickets!
Style Guide: It goes without saying that opulent fashion goes hand in hand with the Del Mar Racetrack. Over the years, the Opening Day One and Only Truly Fabulous Hat Contest has shown brought shown us headwear that has included everything from 3-foot tall floral and feather creations, beautiful wide-brimmed classic pieces and even a true-to-form replica of the Racetrack itself fastened as a hat. But who says that Opening Day festivities are the only time for us to don our eccentric headgear? Rather than pulling your ostentatious hat from its box and brushing off the dust this year, freshen up your look with a unique new style that can be worn all season long. Our favorites include: feather-frilled Peacock-inspired pieces and wide-brimmed beauties ornamented with fancy silk flowers, vintage Audrey Hepburn-esque black and white classics and punk rock princess styled top hats. Read more and get the look in Del Mar Hats - Guide to High Fashion Headgear.
Trunk Show Alert! In preparation for Del Mar Racetrack’s Opening Day festivities, The Village Hat Shop is hosting two trunk show shopping events featuring some of the hottest high fashion hat designers in the industry. Coordinating hat style with neighborhood vibe on a two week rotation, The Village Hat Shop presents a Arturo Rios Collection trunk show event at the Hillcrest location on Saturday, July 10 from 12 – 4pm. The following weekend, the Seaport Village location in downtown San Diego will welcome guests for a Betmar New York trunk show event on Saturday, July 17 from 11 am – 2pm. Get details here.
4 O’ Clock Fridays: Del Mar’s popular weekly concert series, 4 O’ Clock Fridays, features a free show after the last Thoroughbred race of the day every Friday, spotlighting a new big name headliner each week. This tradition of local sound began in 1994, and since then Del Mar has brought you such big name acts as Billy Idol, Devo, Jason Mraz, Gnarls Barkley and Ziggy Marley, among many. Highlight concerts of the 2010 summer concert series include: Pinback on July 23; Common Sense on July 30; The B-52s on August 6; The Soft Pack on August 13; Jimmy Cliff & Matisyahu on August 14; Ozomatli on August 20; Weezer on August 21; Super Diamond on August 27; Local Music Showcase with Craft Microbrew Festival on August 28; The English Beat on September 3; and ZZ Top on September 4. Friday concerts are held at the Seaside Stage, and Saturday concerts are held at the Infield Stage.
Free and Easy Wednesdays: Going to the racetrack on Wednesdays is a win-win for everyone. Del Mar offers Free and Easy Wednesdays all season long, which hook you up with free Stretch Run Admission, free programs, free seats, and half price beer, sodas, and hot dogs at the Stretch Run Concession Stands. However, in order to reap the benefits, you have to be a Diamond Club member.
Thoroughbred Racing & Betting 101: The Del Mar Racetrack is all about Thoroughbred horse racing. 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.
Del Mar 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.
Opening Day Party Time: DiscoverSD.com is a proud supporter of the L’Auberge Del Mar and 944 Magazine Opening Day After Party on July 21. This celebrity-studded VIP event was one of the best parties of 2009, and this year’s soiree is slated to be even better. Want to win tickets? Sign-up now!
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 summer long, starting July 21 and running through September 8, 2010. 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.