Hats and Horses Return to Iconic Del Mar Racetrack on Wednesday

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Patrons in hats watch the opening day races. Courtesy Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

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.

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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.

Opening weekend includes a concert by The Psychedelic Furs on Friday and award-winning craft beer and top burgers on Saturday, along with a reggae concert by Iration.

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.

Widgets Magazine
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