72 Reasons Why We Love the Del Mar Races

This year, Del Mar Racing runs July 16 through Sept. 7

[Updated] July 22, 2015

Del Mar Races

Hosting seven weeks of seaside racing each summer, the ambiance and spirit of Del Mar is unlike any other. Since 1937, the track has welcomed more than 39 million visitors, handling more than $13 billion – quite impressive to say the least.

In honor of Del Mar’s grand tradition and 72nd season of racing, we celebrated this great achievement and milestone, offering 72 reasons on why we love Del Mar Racing. We admit that the experience itself goes far beyond a mere list of accolades and attributes, but we hope you will agree that summer racing in Del Mar is simply unforgettable.

1 Opening Day @ Del Mar - Drawing record-breaking crowds, Opening Day at Del Mar is unlike any other – bringing to life the spirit of seaside racing once again for the summer season. And if you ask us, July 16th should be a local holiday for all to enjoy!

2 Joe Harper - A racetrack fixture since 1977.

3 Smirnoff Lounge
 - A 3 o’clock Friday home base.

4 Summer Concert Series

With 10 big-name concerts taking place on the Seaside Stage, the enhanced concert venue will allow for even more racing fans to take advantage of the post-race concerts. Del Mar racetrack concerts are the best.

crowds at del mar on field5 Five Days a Week - With races scheduled every Wednesday through Sunday, we have five days a week to catch the races – pace yourself.

6 Paddock
 - A reigning parade.

7 Skyrooms
 - 550 reasons to enjoy the view.

8 Celebrities & Athletes
We don’t like to name drop – but we will. Caityln Jenner. 

9 Opening Day After Parties
 - Not. To. Be. Missed. Hosted by L’Auberge, The Poseidon Restaurant, Market Restaurant and Bar, Del Mar Plaza and Jimmy O's to name a few.

10 92014 – Del Mar 
- A local resident, seaside racing has become an integral part of the summer resort landscape in Del Mar.

11 Jockey Statues
 - Because gnomes are afraid of horses and humans.

12 Stable Notes
 - Race news and nothing but – straight from the press box daily.

13 Winner’s Circle
 - A race tradition honoring the champions.

14 Being ‘In-the-Money’ - Finishing in the top three of a race.

15 Silks Del Mar - Buy a graphic tee and a cap, or even a piece of art to sport Del Mar’s coolest racing fashions.

16 Bing’s Daily Ditty - Where the turf meets the surf, Down at old Del Mar, Take a plane, Take a train, Take a car. There is a smile on every face, And a winner in each race, Where the turf meets the surf, At Del Mar.

17 The Races - And they’re off! With 40+ stakes and handicaps (Oceanside Stakes, San Clemente Handicap, I’m Smokin Stakes, California Dreamin, Del Mar Oaks, Cougar II Handicap, La Jolla Handicap – to name a few), Del Mar takes its racing very seriously – ranking among the nation’s top tracks.

18 Colors and silks
 - Blue and yellow diamonds never looked so good.

19 Coastal Climate
 - Ideal in every aspect; completely balmy and averaging 75 degrees during the summer.

20 The Diamond Club - Two words: Discounts and Perks.

21 Kenny Mayne - The man knows a little about horse racing.

22 Racing Photography
 - A picture is worth a thousand words – or so they say. But at Del Mar, they are priceless.

23 The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest
 - Hats off to style and creativity!

24 Summer Fashion
 - It’s like a runway with the designers.

25 Jockey Helmet Cameras - It’s a bumpy ride, but at least it puts you in the game!

26 Palms
 - The unofficial official tree of Southern California.

27 Del Mar Beach
Not to mention 15th Street, 11th Street, 7th Street and 4th Street – a few offshore reefs create some fairly good surf breaks along this stretch of coast.

28 Daybreak at Del Mar - Buttermilk pancakes and French toast are a steal for only $9.95; not to mention the added bonus of watching the morning workout trackside.

29 The Turf Club
 - San Diego’s class act – without denim or polo-style shirts, of course.

30 Ponies - Have your pick: Brown and black. Chestnut and tan. Muscular and toned. Well groomed. And ready to run.

ladies day del mar race track31 Ladies Day - August 7th @ the Seaside Cabana. Mini-spa treatments compliments of  Spa Gregorie’s.

32 $1 Million Pacific Classic
 - Holding the largest purse at Del Mar, the Pacific Classic turns 22 this season (first debuting August 10, 1991).

33 Vintage Del Mar Racing - Black & white photos and old commercials – what’s not to love?! “If you miss it, you lose!”

34 Best Pal
 - An American Hall of Fame champion racehorse – to this day holds the record for purses of any California-bred racehorse, earning his owners, the Golden Eagle Farms, $5.6 million over his lifetime.

35 Wide-Spanning Panoramas
 - The Pacific views and Del Mar backdrop are simply unrivalled.

sunset del mar36 Gourmet Food Truck Fest
 - The hottest eats in So Cal, featuring 40 gourmet food trucks from San Diego, Orange County and LA. Available August 20.

37 Facebook Chatter - With 18,500+ fans, it’s a never-ending conversation.

38 Del Mar’s Founding Fathers

The iconic Bing Crosby, Pat O’Brien, Jimmy Durante, Charles S. Howard and Oliver Hardy.

39 Morning Workouts

The Workout Tab might be too intense foe some, but a good better tool for others.

40 Miss Cougar Del Mar
 - Mature, single women on the prowl. Meow.

41 Polytrack Run - $9 million worth of safe racing.

42 O’Brien’s Pub

Cheeseburgers ciabatta sandwiches and Ensenada-style beer-battered fish tacos. Don’t forget to whet your appetite with the Del Margarita, Del Martini, Del Mary and a Rum Runner.

43 Cheering in the Grandstands
 - There’s nothing like cheering on the ponies – especially, when the crowd allows standing room only.

44 Bobbie Frankel - The Master – garnering six $1 Million Pacific Classic race wins.

45 Stretch Run Grill
 - Trackside dining at its best!

46 Jockey’s
 - Not to be confused with cowboys.

47 Camp Del Mar
 - From miniature golf and an inflatable jump, to crafts, video games and ‘hippity hop’ races on the field, Camp Del Mar makes the season fun for the kiddos.

48 The Guinea Stands - The understated backside of the track.

49 Don MacBeth Fund
 - Honoring injured and disabled jockeys. Once a season, jockey ‘waiters’ can be seen at the annual MacBeth event at the famed Pamplemousse.

horse del mar race track50 Horse Names - Phone Chatter, Lite Light, Mr. Hot Stuff, Son of a Pistol, Lava Man, After Market, The Green Monkey, Joe Who, Bail Out Becky, Stevie Wonderboy, Meat Sauce, Alphabet Soup, Albertus Maximus, Solar Launch, Thor’ s Echo, The Wicked North, Moscow Burning, Free House, Idiot Proof and Officer – to name a few.

51 The Voice of Del Mar Racing – Mr. Trevor Denman
“And there's the roar from the Del Mar crowd as the 2015 Del Mar meet is underway.”

52 Legend of Seabiscuit

The ever-famed Seabiscuit-Ligaroti match race was held August 12, 1938 at the track, drawing a national radio audience and a crowd of 20,000. Seabiscuit won by a nose.

del mar race track history horse jocky54 The Charlie Whittingham Pub - Prime real estate neighboring the Paddock; try the barbeque pulled pork or hot link sandwich.

55 Del Mar Bets - “Show me the money!”

56 Wiener Dog Nationals
 - Adorable, free-spirited, low-to-the-ground athletes not to be missed! Completing on Labor Day, the fastest 16 dachshunds will complete in the SD finals of the Wienerschnitzel Wiener Nationals – and we mean FAST.

57 Night School - Get schooled with the ABC’s of horseracing.

58 Don Diego
 - He never misses a game, and always welcomes his guests.

59 The Starting Gate - Where it all begins.

starting gate del mar race track60 Gary Brinson
 - He likes to push buttons.

61 Racing for Charity - Since 1946, a total of $8,232,226 has been raised through charity racing at Del Mar. Beneficiaries have included the United Way, local hospitals, equine-related charities, children’s clubs and a variety of other charities which serve Del Mar and North San Diego.

62 Horsepower
 - With record breaking speeds each season, don’t blink.

63 The Mural - Because it makes us feel good.

64 Del Mar Thoroughbred Club - For the love of horseracing since 1968.

65 Bill Shoemaker - Earned seven riding titles.

66 Donuts at Del Mar - A morning of entertainment, prizes, racing info and celebrity surprises. And of course, donuts. Yum Yum!

67 The Bet Formula
 - Some base their bets on numbers and colors, others on the interest of a horse’s name or possible genealogy; whatever your game, all you need is just a little luck.

68 Zenyatta - A true San Diego favorite.

69 A Photo Finish
 - Oh the excitement!

del mar race track courtyard70 Party in the Paddock - A Closing Day tradition.

71 Friends, Dates & Neighbors
 - Because the racetrack wouldn’t be the same without 45,000 of your closest and newest friends.

72 Years of Unforgettable Seaside Racing
 - Thanks for the memories! And here’s to the next 72!