This past Wednesday was Opening Day for the 75th season of the Del Mar Stakes. The famous racetrack has been drawing huge crowds every summer since July 3, 1937 when celebrities Bing Crosby, Jimmy Durante, and Oliver Hardy brought thoroughbred racing to town. Located about twenty miles north of downtown San Diego, the track is “where the turf meets the surf” in the beautiful seaside community of Del Mar, California.
The racetrack features a one-mile Polytrack (synthetic dirt) track encircling a seven-furlong turf course. The iconic, beige-stucco grandstand building is located on the south side of the track, affording great views of the thrilling action from practically everywhere. A tunnel leads to the infield, where families can picnic or watch the races from a different perspective. Plus, every Friday and on select Saturdays concerts take place on the grounds. Some are even complemented with all-day beer fests too.
Every day during the summer season, San Diegans and tourists alike flock to Del Mar to wager on the thoroughbred races. My visit on Sunday was actually my first time to any racetrack ever and I was excited to win big money! However, although we brought the tips sheet from the local newspaper, it seemed like the handicappers were wrong on every race. Finally, as we placed our bets on our last race of the day, I decided to randomly bet on the horse with the name I liked best. I put $5 on Kinz Funky Monkey to Show (3rd place) and got it right! I won a grand total of $17.50. I’m sure glad my scientific method worked.
The 2012 season at Del Mar runs through September 5th so there’s still plenty of time to make it there this summer.
When: July 18 – September 5, 2012. (Wednesdays – Sundays; Dark on Mondays & Tuesdays, except Labor Day Monday); Post Times: 2:00 PM every day except Fridays, 4:00 PM Fridays.
Where: 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard Del Mar, CA 92014. Exit I-5 at Via de la Valle Blvd. and head west.
Admission: Stretch Run $6 adults; Clubhouse $10 adults. Under 18, free. Parking is $10/vehicle.
For more info: Visit the official website.
Here are more photos from my visit:
Have you ever been to the races? What are your thoughts? Feel free to comment in the section below!