Del Mar Horse Races


Location: Del Mar (22 Miles / 20 Minutes North of Downtown San Diego)

When are the Races? Wednesdays to Sundays from July 17, 2014 to September 3, 2014 and from November 7, 2014 to November 30, 2014. Generally runs 2PM – 6PM. Starts 4PM on Fridays.

Cost: Several options starting at $6. Parking is $10.

Features: One of the Top Horse Racetracks in the Country; Several Stakes Races; Place to See and Be Seen; Free Friday Concerts

Del Mar RacetrackDel Mar Thoroughbred Racing Highlights: Bing Crosby created the jingle Where the Turf Meets the Surf for the opening of his Del Mar Racetrack in 1937. Along with his fellow founders, the actors Pat O’Brien, Jimmy Durante, and businessman Charles Howard, Crosby developed the racetrack into a place for Hollywood Stars to come see and be seen. Just a year after opening, the racetrack held the famous Seabiscuit vs. Ligaroti race, which was broadcast nationwide. Today, the Del Mar Racetrack is still the place to see and be seen. On any given day, you have the opportunity to see a famous face. On Opening Day in mid-July, you will see the most beautiful people in the country descend on the racetrack as the women show off their fanciest hats. Free Concerts on 3 O’Clock Fridays attract large crowds of young fans while the Stakes Races attract the biggest names in horse racing. Hall of Fame horse trainer Bob Baffert says “It’s like a Kentucky Derby atmosphere every day.” Located next to the Pacific Ocean (Where the Turf Meets the Surf), the setting is too irresistible as one of the best horse racetracks in the country.

Best Times To Visit the Horse Races in San Diego

  • Two Biggest Days on the Horse Racing Calendar. Ticket prices are generally double the normal cost.
    • Opening Day of Del Mar Race Season is the best day to “see and be seen”. Spectators dress up in their best outfits. Women wear fancy hats to show off and many enter to win the Hats Contest. If you want to see beautiful people, this is the event you need to attend. You will mix and mingle with over 40,000 attractive horse racing fans.
    • Pacific Classic Stakes – This premier West Coast horse race with a $1 million purse is a primer for the Breeder’s Cup. The winner of the Pacific Classic earns automatic entry into the Breeder’s Cup. This Grade 1 horse race takes place on the third Saturday in August.
  • Free & Easy Wednesdays – Free Admission to the Stretch Run spectator area, Free Program, and half price soda, beer, and hot dogs when you are a member of the Free Diamond Club. (See admission prices below for more information about Stretch Run and Diamond Club.)
  • Four O’Clock Fridays – Young professionals and music lovers of all ages descend in large numbers to the Del Mar Racetrack on Fridays during racing season. The races start later (4 PM) and are followed by a free concert by notable bands.
  • Events Calendar – Every day at the Del Mar Races is an exciting adventure. Review this easy-to-read daily events calendar to find the special events that are of interest to you.

Del Mar Track Starter GateWhat to Expect

  • Daily average attendance is one of the top three of all race tracks in the country (approximately 25,000) and the daily average handle runs upwards of $15 million.
  • You will want to wear good walking shoes. Many spectators prefer to move around quite a bit. One popular routine is to check out the horses in the paddock as they prepare for their race, head over to the ticket windows to make bets, and then find a seat or stand near the finish line to watch the horse race.
  • There are generally 8 – 10 horse races each day.
  • Newcomers’ Seminars – Learn how to bet on horse racing by attending a seminar that starts one hour in advance of the Del Mar Races.
  • Babysitting is provided at the Del Mar Horse Racetrack. If your kids are ages 5 – 12, you can drop them off at Camp Del Mar. They’ll be kept engaged in fun activities while you enjoy the races. There is a fee for this service. No reservations are required.
  • For those with disabilities, check the Patrons with Disabilities Page for more information.

Map of the Racetrack – If you like to plan things in advance, you can print a map and figure out where you want to sit or stand to watch the races. You will see the paddock located where the Clubhouse and Stretch Run areas meet.

Del Mar Stakes Races – Horse Racing aficionados can check out the list of stakes races that take place at Del Mar. You can also read descriptions about the top stakes races at Del Mar from Wikipedia.

Crowds at Del Mar RacesInformation on Attending the Del Mar Races

Admission Prices:

  • Parking is $10. See more details below.
  • There are two admission areas:
    • Stretch Run Admission is $6 and includes the spectator areas before the finish line. The stretch run also provides tunnel access under the track to watch the racing from the infield area. The infield is a good area for those who like smaller crowds and want to move around a lot. You can stand at the track fence, make your bets, and get food in the infield.
    • Clubhouse Admission is $10 and includes the spectator areas after the finish line.
  • Kids 17 Years of Age and Under are admitted for free.
  • Active Duty Military Personnel and their dependents receive free admission to the Stretch Run area.
  • Reserved Seating and Trackside Dining Tables are available in both the Stretch Run and Clubhouse areas. These tickets cost extra. To easily see the options, take a look at the printable ticket order form.
  • You can also order tickets online. Stretch Run and Clubhouse admissions never sellout according to the Del Mar Racing web site. However, the reserved seating and track side dining table tickets may sellout, or at least, the better seating options, including shade and location, may sellout. The Del Mar Racing web site provides details on where to find shaded seating and other Frequently Asked Questions about Del Mar Racing Tickets.
  • Season Passes and books of 10 tickets can be purchased at a discount.
  • You can get significant discounts and other specials by joining the free Del Mar Diamond Club.

Season Schedule – 1st Race generally takes place at 2PM, except on Fridays when they generally start at 4PM. Visit the Del Mar Races information page for the latest information.

Directions from Google Maps to 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard in Del Mar, CA 92014

Traffic – Traffic is very slow as you approach the Via de la Valle exit for the Del Mar Fairgrounds. The traffic is particularly bad for the 3 O’Clock Friday events. Plan on at least 20 minutes of extra time. Traffic is also heavy getting out of the Parking Lot and then heading in either direction on highway I-5 when leaving during the weekday evening rush hour. (Learn more about getting San Diego traffic updates.)

Transit – The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club provides a free shuttle between the Solana Beach Train Station and the Del Mar Racetrack. (The Solana Beach station serves Amtrak and Coaster trains 2.5 miles north of the Del Mar Racetrack.) See San Diego Transit Information for more about Amtrak and Coaster trains serving the Solana Beach Station.

Parking – Parking costs $10. The lots are very large so plan on a good walk to reach the race track. However, the farther you are willing to walk, the less you will have to sit waiting for the parking lot to clear out after the races. Valet Parking is available for $25.

Related Attraction – The Del Mar Racetrack is also home to the Surfside Race Place, the largest horse race betting facility in California.

Find More Attractions with Similar Themes or Location: *Top San Diego Attractions*, Casinos & Horse Racing, Horse Carriages, Riding & Racing, Music Venues, North County Coastal, Nostalgia & Western Frontier, Professional Sports |

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