Credit: Jordan Toves / Volo Sports

Celebrate the Start of the Del Mar Horse Racing Season at This Epic Opening Day Party

We’re Off to the Races!

It’s that time of year again! Grab your sun hats and summer dresses and get ready to gamble (you know, classy gambling). Every summer, people from all over the world flock to the city of Del Mar for a variety of events—from the San Diego County Fair to the Del Mar Village Summer Solstice—but the horse racing season is always one of the biggest draws. What’s unique about the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is its gorgeous view of the ocean just behind the tracks. Nothing says luxury like wearing a floppy hat, sipping a cold glass of champagne and watching jockeys jockey for position around a one-mile track while enjoying a view of the Pacific. (Well, that and winning some cash if you’re lucky). Each year, to kick off the racing season, Volo Sports San Diego hosts its famous Opening Day Party—and you won’t wanna miss it.

Del Mar Horse Racing
Credit: Jordan Toves / Volo Sports

On Friday, July 21, the party (and the games) begin. If you’re going to attend, you might as well do it right and make an entire day out of it. Here’s how: Volo Sports arranges three different pre-party locations—one in North County, one downtown and one in Pacific Beach. They haven’t announced them yet for this year, but last year the parties began at Union Kitchen and Tap in Encinitas, East Village Tavern + Bowl in East Village (obviously) and Backyard Kitchen and Tap in Pacific Beach. With the purchase of a ticket, you’ll be granted entrance to one of the pre-parties, VIP access at the main event and party-bus rides to and from the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Plan ahead, invite your friends that know how to rally the best and buy tickets early because they sell out fast.

Del Mar Horse Racing
Credit: Jordan Toves / Volo Sports

When you get to your pre-party spot at 9 a.m., you’ll be greeted with a special drink and delicious breakfast (reminder: it’s a marathon, not a sprint). From there, you’ll hop on a party bus stocked with water, boozy beverages and snacks, and you’re off to the races! If you come via party bus, you’ll not only have way more fun than everyone else trying to find parking at the event, but you’ll get access to the VIP party once you get there. This exclusive event includes games, betting booths, DJs and trackside access. There’s even a special section to sit and watch the races so you can be right in on the action cheering on your favorites. Whether you roll up on a bus filled with all your friends or are there to meet new people, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to socialize and have a good time.


Credit: Jordan Toves / Volo Sports

Right after the last race of the day, the party buses will start heading back to their original pre-party locations. Don’t worry—the return buses will be stocked with water and electrolytes so you can avoid that headache that otherwise would be on its way.



Credit: Volo Sports

Whether you’re here for the party or the great summer vibes, the Del Mar horse races are worth the visit. You can see an awesome concert, go on a romantic Ferris wheel ride with your partner, check out the prize-winning farm animals, win some money at the races and eat all the fried food your heart desires. You may even want to come back more than once because you can definitely spend multiple days enjoying all this place has to offer. We’ll see you at the party!

To purchase tickets, click here!


Sara grew up in San Diego and recently moved back after living on the Central Coast and traveling around Latin America for a while. Passionate about wellness both personally and professionally, she's worked for brands like Mindbody, Classpass, and Headspace and is a 200-hour registered yoga teacher (come take her class at YogaSix North Carlsbad!). Through it all, she's always had a passion for writing and loves contributing to Locale Magazine.




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