Del Mar 2020 Racing Season
Photography Provided By: DMTC
Del Mar 2020 Racing Season
Photography Provided By: DMTC

Opening Day Should Be a San Diego Holiday—Here’s How To Do It Right

Get Fancy and Get Lucky at Del Mar Opening Day on July 16

We missed Opening Day last year, which can only mean one thing: it’s time to make up for it this year by going all out! July 16 is right around the corner, which, if you know, is an unofficial holiday for all of us San Diegans. It’s time to dig out those snazzy summer dresses and fabulous hats and head to the racetrack in Del Mar. From good food and strong drinks to fancy folks with high bids, this annual event is the ultimate way to kick your summer into high gear! Here’s everything you need to wear, eat, drink and do for an epic Opening Day at the track. Opening Day Del Mar

Opening Day Del Mar

Join the Club

Racing kicks off on July 16, and you’ll want to secure the best viewing spot where you can see and be seen. Join the Turf Club for exclusive access to the terraced trackside tables on the fourth floor, where you can enjoy exclusive food and beverage options alongside friends and family. Did we mention bottomless mimosas and bloody marys to go along with a three-course brunch? Keep it going with the Official After Pony Party at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, featuring the official DJ of the Miami Heat, DJ Irie, and the opportunity to mingle with the winning jockeys. You can even rent a private cabana if you want to go all out! 


Sip Back and Relax

What hits the spot on a hot summer day at the race? One of the many cool signature drinks available around the track, of course! Sip on an ice-cold Corona Extra or delight your taste buds with a refreshing Del Margarita, Paddock Paloma or Del Mary—made with a double shot of vodka, spiced bloody mary mix and an olive and lime wedge. The Make Your Mule (a double shot of vodka, bourbon or tequila, ginger beer and a lime wedge) is also a great option for those in search of something fizzy and light!

Put on Your Friday Best

Ladies and gentlemen, this is not the time for shredded jeans, scuffed sneakers or cargo shorts. Del Mar Opening Day is the dressiest day of the year and the richest party on the west coast—all eyes are on you! With your A-game in place, the famous race-track hats are a must, especially if you want to win the Opening Day Hats Contest ($4,000 in prizes). Elegant fascinators and brimmed hats adorned with racing themes or big bows—we want to admire and envy them all! Polo shirts and well-tailored pants along with Fedora hats and mandated sport coats for gentlemen are traditional choices. Feeling cute? Add a bow tie. Show off before 3 p.m. in the Plaza de Mexico!


Wine and Dine

When the mood for food strikes, Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is at your service with a dozen dining options featuring burgers and fries, carved sandwiches and a wide variety of salad selections, pizza, Mexican food and more. Leave some room for soft-serve or hand-packed ice cream for dessert to go with specialty coffees offered near the Paddock. Outside the track are countless options to choose from too, including Ranch 45 for smoked meats, Brigantine for fresh seafood and Viewpoint Brewing Co. for beers and bites!


Let the Party Continue!

The newly transformed L’Auberge Del Mar hotel, located just minutes from the beach, is the place to be for the Opening Day After Party! Guests of this posh retreat are welcome to celebrate until midnight with more delicious cocktails and bites while enjoying live music with resident DJs. Reserve your luxurious hotel room or private cabana and spend the evening like a total derby queen or king!

Opening Day Del Mar

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd
Del Mar, CA 92014

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