The 2018 Del Mar Races Open on Wednesday July 18th
The 2018 thoroughbred racing season at the Del Mar Race Track is almost here, with Opening Day less than 2 weeks away.
Thoroughbred racing at the Del Mar Race Track opens Wednesday July 18 at the famed Del Mar Fairgrounds in Del Mar California, running through September 3rd, with the exception of Mondays (other than the final day, Labor Day) and Tuesdays.
Del Mar horse racing is a hugely popular event for residents and visitors alike, with enthusiasts from all over Southern California, and the country. Thoroughbred racing has been popular at the Del Mar race track for decades, with big crowds, and plenty of famous and not so famous people.
Thoroughbred racing has always been a favorite scene to spy Hollywood celebrities, and the Del Mar Races are still a popular celebrity-sighting venue each summer. This is especially true on Opening Day, which many San Diegans consider THE social event of the summer season.
Opening Day includes the ever-popular and unique “Opening Day Hats Contest” where you can show off your hat in the Plaza de Mexico between 11:30 and 3; there is no cost to take part, you just need a great hat! Cash prizes totaling more $5000 are awarded in 5 categories - Most Glamorous, Best Racing Theme, Most Outrageous, Best Fascinator and Best Flowers.
Post time is 2 pm (4 pm on Fridays)! Gates open 2 hours beforehand – get there early, as you can expect parking to get crowded. Another option is to take the Coaster Train to the Solana Beach Train Station, with free shuttles to and from the track on double-decker busses. There’s also an Uber Zone for drop-offs and pick-ups at the track.
In addition to the ponies, there are multiple concerts, parties, and other special events including Family Fun Day on July 22, the Craft Beer Festival on Saturday August 18th and the Turf & Surf BBQ Championship on August 19th.
In the last several years a shorter racing season has been added, and in 2018 runs from November 9th through the December 2nd (no racing Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays).
You can purchase tickets online.
As with the San Diego County Fair you can anticipate heavy race track traffic when traveling the 5 freeway, and on the Coast Road, as well as major side streets like Via de la Valle, especially on opening day, in addition to the summer crowds in the Del Mar area in general.
2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard
(Via de la Valle exit off the 5 freeway)
Del Mar, California
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