Del Mar Horse Racing Guide
Credit: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Place Your Bets! This Is Your Guide to the 2024 Del Mar Horse Racing Season

From Opening Day Parties to Trackside Experiences, Here’s What to Look Forward to This Year

Giddy up! The Del Mar horse racing season is almost here, which means it’s time to snag your tickets, don your fanciest hats and place your bets. Each summer, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club welcomes San Diego locals and visitors for an epic season of racing at one of the top three tracks in the country. And this year, there’s so much in store—from parties and festivals to exciting trackside experiences! Here’s what to look forward to at the 2024 Del Mar horse races.

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OPENING DAY

Opening Day + The Party on Opening Day Presented by Pacifico

Date: July 20

Kicking off the season on July 20, for the first time on a weekend since the 1950s, Opening Day is set to be a grand affair. This highly anticipated event in Del Mar is a staple of West Coast tradition, drawing thousands of locals and visitors to witness the best in racing. And while many San Diego locals have been to the horse races before, this year brings a special Opening Day celebration. The Party on Opening Day presented by Pacifico is a new 21+ event that will kick off the season in style with world-class DJs, craft beers and cocktail bars, photo booths and options for private wagering. Attendees can reference the racing calendar for race dates, post times and stakes races. Crack open an ice-cold Pacifico and cheers to an epic Opening Day!

 

EXCITING EVENTS

Del Mar Beer Festival

Date: July 21

On Sunday, July 21, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., beer enthusiasts can enjoy a wide selection of craft brews at the Del Mar Beer Festival. This 21+ event promises a refreshing start to the season with various local and international beer offerings. Sample from over 50 brews, ciders and seltzers, and pair your sips with gourmet food available for purchase. Local brewery reps will be on hand to answer questions and DJs will spin music throughout the day.

 

Uncorked Wine Fest

Date: August 3

Blue Moon
Credit: Uncorked Wine Festival

Wine lovers won’t want to miss the Uncorked Wine Fest on Saturday, August 3, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. This 21+ event offers a delightful afternoon of wine tasting, featuring a curated selection of wines to savor while enjoying the races. Ladies, grab your hats, and gents, pull out your bow ties! You’ll have the opportunity to try more than 100 wines from around the globe, enjoy fare from local food trucks and groove to the music while watching the races from the Stretch Run.

 

Tacos & Tequila Festival

Date: August 10

Credit: Constellation Brands

Spice up your race-day experience at the Tacos & Tequila Festival on Saturday, August 10, from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. This festival pairs delicious tacos with a variety of tequilas and cervezas creating a festive atmosphere perfect for summer. Try creations from some of the best taco shops in town as you cheers to a day well-spent at the Del Mar horse races.

8/18

Taste of New Orleans

Date: August 24

Experience the vibrant flavors and culture of New Orleans on Saturday, August 24, from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Taste of New Orleans brings the lively spirit of the Big Easy to Del Mar with food, music and entertainment. Groove to live Cajun music as you sample everything from hurricanes, frozen daiquiris and craft beers to authentic NOLA eats, like gumbo, po’boys, beignets and jambalaya.

 

TRACKSIDE ATTRACTIONS

Free & Easy Thursday

Date: Every Thursday, starting July 28

Del Mar Horse Racing Guide
Credit: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Starting July 28, Diamond Club members can enjoy Free & Easy Thursday every week. Members receive free Stretch Run admission, a free program, a free seat and 40% off select concession items. This exclusive perk makes Thursdays at the track even more enjoyable. Guests can sign up for Diamond Club membership through the Del Mar mobile app to access these benefits.

 

Friday Happy Hour

Date: Fridays, beginning July 26

Del Mar Horse Racing Guide
Credit: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Starting on July 26, Fridays at Del Mar will be even more exciting, with happy hour specials. Enjoy half off all of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s signature drinks until two hours after the first post. This offer is available at all venues except the Turf Club restaurant & bar.

 

Turf Club Fridays

Date: Fridays, starting July 26

Del Mar Horse Racing Guide
Credit: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Every Friday from July 26, the exclusive Turf Club opens its doors to all. Tickets include admission to the Turf Club, two drink tickets for premium cocktails, wine or beer, and access to the appetizer buffet. It’s a fantastic way to kick off the weekend in style.

 

Taste of the Turf Club

Date:  Every Sunday, starting July 21

Credit: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Starting July 21, every Sunday offers a unique culinary experience at the Turf Club. Tickets to Taste of the Turf Club include a three-course brunch, a reserved Turf Club table for the day, bottomless Bloody Marys or mimosas, and general parking. It’s the perfect way to enjoy a luxurious day at the races.

 

SIGNATURE RACE

$1,000,000 FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic

Date: August 31

Del Mar Horse Racing Guide
Credit: Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

The highlight of the season is the prestigious $1,000,000 FanDuel Racing Pacific Classic on Saturday, August 31. Gates open at 11:30 a.m. for this premier event, where the country’s top horses compete for the hefty purse. The Pacific Classic is a key race in the Breeders’ Cup series, with the winner earning a spot in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Del Mar on Nov. 1 and 2. This race is a must-see for any racing fan, showcasing the pinnacle of equestrian talent and excitement.

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This article is brought to you by one of the many talented writers associated with Locale Magazine! We are a group of locals (whether born and raised or transplanted) who love this county we now call home!

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