Global pop-culture may be taking over downtown San Diego this week, but tradition reigns farther north with opening day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club on Wednesday.
Gates open at 11:30 a.m., the first race is at 2 p.m. and the famous annual hat contest closes at 3 p.m. in the Plaza de Mexico.
After making history hosting its first ever Breeders’ Cup Championships in 2017, the thoroughbred club is planning a packed summer racing season that continues through Labor Day.
All concerts during the summer season are free with the purchase of standard $6 racetrack admission. The lineup includes:
- Friday, July 27: Steel Pulse
- Saturday, July 28: Switchfoot
- Friday, Aug. 3: Matisyahu
- Friday, Aug. 10: Aloe Blacc
- Saturday, Aug. 11: Reggae Fest with Ziggy Marley
- Friday, Aug. 17: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
- Friday, Aug. 24: Tribal Seeds
- Friday, Aug. 31: Café Tacvba
- Saturday, Sept. 1: Slightly Stoopid
- Sunday, Sept. 2: Ice Cube
Crowds are expected on opening day, so the North County Transit District has scheduled two special southbound trains and two special northbound trains. Once at the Solana Beach Station, passengers can catch a shuttle to and from the racetrack. The NCTD is also offering special “pony express” tickets.
And the hats? The thoroughbred club is awarding $5,000 in prizes on Wednesday in five categories: best racing theme, most glamorous, most outrageous, best fascinator and best flowers.
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