The day is all about big bets and even bigger fashion. More than 45,000 race fans are expected to ring in the new racing season with a celebration at the seaside track that fuses fashion, sport, food and fun.
Expect to see some of the most exquisite and out of the ordinary race hats and fascinators this side of the globe as women compete for esteemed titles in the day’s One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest. During the contest, a panel of celebrity judges will vet each woman’s hat based on five categories for the chance to win cash prizes or two round-trip airline vouchers anywhere in the U.S. At the conclusion of the contest, the ladies will parade around the Plaza de Mexico to show off their glamorous, race-themed — and sometimes comedic — headwear.
Opening Day tickets are $20 and can be purchased on-site or online at www.dmtc.com.
2012 racing dates are Wednesdays through Sundays from July 18 to Sept. 5. The Del Mar Racetrack is located at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd.
Summer Concert Series
Throughout the season, big names in the international music scene will also make appearances to put on free shows as part of the Del Mar Summer Concert Series. Names like Ben Harper, Ziggy Marley and Michael Franti & Spearhead will all bring down the house from the racetrack’s Seaside Stage, set against a stunning backdrop of the Pacific. For a full listing of concerts, visit www.delmarscene.com.
Racetrack calendar highlights
The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is hosting a number of events throughout the season to cater to everyone’s style. Here is a roundup of special event days for racegoers’ enjoyment:
• July 21: To pay homage to Del Mar Racetrack’s 75 successful years, every 75th person through the admission gates will win $75.
• July 27: Miss Cougar Del Mar finals
• July 28: Fifty gourmet food trucks and more than 50 frosty local craft brews will be on tap from noon to 6 p.m.
• July 29: Bring the whole family out for the ultimate Family Day at the races where activities, pony rides and shows will entertain kids all day.
• Sept.1: Reggae festival with headliner Ziggy Marley
• Every Wednesday at the racetrack is Free & Easy Wednesday, where guests will re-ceive free Stretch Run admission, a free program and free seat along with half price domestic draft beer, soda and hot dogs at the Stretch Run concession stands.