July 16, 2014 12:18 ET

Join for Opening Day at the Summer Horse Races in Del Mar

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - Jul 16, 2014) - For horse racing fans, there is no better way to spend a summer afternoon other than where the "turf meets the surf" at the famed Del Mar Racetrack in Del Mar, Calif.

The tradition of enjoying a day in the California sun while breathing in the crisp air off the Pacific Ocean while rooting for your favorite thoroughbred at Del Mar dates to the days when the track was built with the help of crooner Bing Crosby and actors Oliver Hardy, Pat O'Brien and Gary Cooper in 1937.

Fast forward 77 years and once again horse racing fans and fashion enthusiasts are wearing wide smiles as the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club summer horse racing season is nearly upon us.

What makes Del Mar stand out from all other tracks in the United States is its makeup and location. The turf course consists of Common Bermuda and Hybrid Bermudagrass. The track can accommodate and stable more than 2,000 horses. Races of all lengths are run on the silky, smooth turf.

But it's Del Mar's tan stucco grandstand that overlooks the majestic Pacific Ocean that leaves race-goers in awe, especially those who attend for their first time.

Let the racing begin
The thoroughbred club is ready to kick off its summer horse racing season on July 17. Racing will commence through Sept. 3.

During the summer season, races will be held every Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. on the inaugural summer race day and then at noon the rest of the season, except Friday when they open at 2 p.m. Post time is typically two hour after the gates open.

Entry into the track is as low as $5 for general admission. Reserved seating, trackside tables and clubhouse seating tickets range from $20 to $62. The club offers a plethora of specials. Check the website for additional pricing and to order.

Special promotions from opening day's hats contest and The Party event to craft beer days and towel giveaways are held throughout the summer in addition to some great horse races.

There's no better way to welcome the summer season than with the ultimate party with sun, music and plenty of horse-racing action. Those who pay the $30 will have access to the trackside Seaside Cabana and concert area where multiple artists will be performing and DJs will be spinning sets. Gourmet food trucks and plenty of microbrew suds will also be available.

Del Mar opening day tradition also means spectacular formal attire for everyone, but the horses. Men usually are dressed to the "9s" while formal attire for women includes stylish and oversized hats. Contests allow participants to earn great prizes and bragging rights that last throughout the racing season.

Even though formal attire is highlighted, suits and dresses and big, fancy hats are not required. What is required is everyone having a nice time!

Best in the West
Bettors will not only watch some of the finest thoroughbreds on the West Coast, they also will have a number of promotions to participate in as well as top-name concert acts at their disposal.

Among some of the more notable races on this summer's schedule are:

Grade 1 stakes

  • Bing Crosby Stakes;
  • Clement L. Hirsch Handicap;
  • Del Mar Debutante Stakes;
  • Del Mar Oaks.

Grade 2 stakes

  • Del Mar Mile Handicap;
  • Del Mar Derby;
  • Del Mar Handicap.

Grade 3 stakes

  • Cougar II Handicap;
  • La Jolla Handicap;
  • Rancho Bernardo Handicap.

On the concert front, some of the world's most popular headliners are scheduled to entertain the crowd this year.

Jurassic 5, Neon Trees, The Cult, Weezer and the Counting Crows will headline the music acts. In total, there will be 10 concerts at the Del Mar Seaside Stage, which is a standing-room only venue that is free to those who attend that day's race. Each show will follow a day of racing.

First-timers get a lesson
Del Mar wants everyone to enjoy their experience while at the club watching horse races. To that end, there are numerous resources to help you learn how to make a wager, read the racing form and understand the odds.

A pre-race seminar is held every day in which newcomers as well as old, grizzled bettors can learn valuable information about the day's events.

Check the club's website to verify post times and to check on the race lineup and weather conditions.

So remember, if you are in San Diego or planning to be in the area on July 17, take in the beauty of the Pacific Ocean and the majesty of some of the swiftest and most agile four-legged creatures at Del Mar, where the "turf meets the surf."


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