Ever since Bing Crosby welcomed the very first fans in 1937 and the great Seabiscuit won his fabled match against Ligaroti the following year, Del Mar race track has been a place of legends, glamour, fame and excitement. This year, some 40,000+ horse racing enthusiasts are expected to attend Opening Day at Del Mar on Thursday, July 16 with its traditional Opening Day Hats competition creating a fashionable ambience for attendees as well as contestants.
If you are into designing hats, you could win your share of $5,000 in prizes in one of the five categories: Most Glamorous, Best Racing Theme, Funniest/Most Outrageous, Best Fascinator and Flowers/All Other. Winners in each group receive $300 for first place, $200 for second, and $100 for third place. The Bing Crosby Grand Prize winner will be awarded a two-night stay in a luxury suite with a $200 meal credit and $200 spa credit at Harrah’s Resort Southern California Luxury Resort Escape — total value $1,300. Entrants must sign up between 11:30 am and 3:00 pm at Plaza de Mexico located inside the Stretch Run admission gates. Participation is free and all entrants receive two free admission passes for future races.
Free Weekend Handicapping Seminars
If you would like to maximize your betting strategies, free Weekend Handicapping Seminars are held Saturdays and Sundays at 12:45 pm in the Seaside Terrace at the West end of the Grandstand. During the 30-45 minute sessions, you’ll go over the day’s race card and gain insight and analysis from top horsemen, handicappers and members of the media.
Camp Del Mar
You can also bring the entire family for a day at the track. Kids ages 5-12 have their own fun at Camp Del Mar every day of live racing during the summer season. Trained counselors (one for every eight children) provide supervision and guidance. Activities include animal-themed crafts, air hockey, an inflatable jump, hippity hop races on the racetrack (Wed, Fri, Sat, Sun), miniature golf (Thursdays), video games, tournaments and more.
Price of $24.00 per day per child includes all activities, lunch, snacks, and a t-shirt. Registration is always open and is located in the Mission Tower Building west of the Plaza de Mexico. Reservations are not required. Parents must remain at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club while their children are at Camp Del Mar.
Photos courtesy of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.