Del Mar, California, one of the hottest summer tourist destinations in the country, is home to the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club. The seaside horse racing track where fans from all over flock to bet on their favorite horses, don their finest summer looks, and enjoy entertainment and events, was founded by iconic Hollywood hot-shots Bing Crosby and Pat O’Brien in 1937.
What to expect at Del Mar Racetrack
Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack is the biggest day of the season where over 40,000 visitors make the trek over to watch the nation’s fastest Thoroughbreds race, enjoy afternoon cocktails and culinary delights, and take part in the bustling SoCal social scene—rubbing elbows with celebs, industry pro’s, and socialites. Horse racing is not the only reason to head to the track, guests can enjoy free evening concerts after the races, food and drink festivals and family-friendly activities every weekend.
The free Summer Concert Series at the track takes place every Friday, and select Saturdays and Sundays after the last race throughout the season. Some notable acts that have performed at Del Mar in the past includes: Weezer, Counting Crows, and Jack Johnson.
Family fun happens every weekend at Del Mar. Kids under 17 get in free every Saturday and Sunday with free activities such as pony rides, games, and inflatable obstacle courses.
Horse racing in Del Mar, California
The summer racing season at Del Mar runs from mid July to early September, typically ending just after Labor Day. Racing takes place Wednesday-Sunday, with a post time of 2:00 p.m., and 4:00 p.m. on Fridays.
Twice during the season Del Mar opens its gates early for special events, Opening Day and the $1 million-dollar TVG Pacific Classic, the highest stakes race of the season.
However if horse enthusiasts are unable to make it out to SoCal this summer, they will have a second chance this year to visit the seaside track, as Del Mar will open the gates again for it’s inaugural fall Bing Crosby Season running November 7-30.
If You Go:
Gates open two hours before the first post every day, and except Opening Day and Pacific Classic Day, when gates open 2 ½ hours before.
First post daily at 2 p.m. with the following exceptions: 4 p.m. on all Fridays; 1 p.m. on Pacific Classic Day
Admission starts at $6 for Stretch Run Admission, and $10 for Clubhouse admission, children 17 and under are always FREE when accompanied by a parent or guardian
All concerts are FREE with paid racetrack admission and $20 after the last race.
Del Mar is located just 20 miles north of downtown San Diego, California, 100 miles south of Los Angeles, California on I-5.
For additional insider tips follow Luxury Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter @nancydbrown and Del Mar Racetrack on Twitter @DelMarRacing.
Are you a horse racing fan? What’s your favorite horse race?
Images courtesy of Del Mar Racetrack