Opening day at Del Mar — where the surf meets the turf — is one of Southern California’s finest festivities especially when you’re sexy, savvy and single.
Opening day at the historic Del Mar horse racing track — properly known as the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club — is one of Southern California’s finest festivities when you’re single. Although there are the to-be-expected Los Angeles traffic jams on the 405 freeway, it’s worth the trip. Just put your blinders on and keep your eyes on the prize. Before you know it, you’ll feel the adrenaline rush as million-dollar horses prance onto the track and into the starting gate, eager to be first to cross the finish line.
The Del Mar track, with its slogan, “Where the Surf Meets the Turf,” was built in 1937 by a partnership that included celebrities Bing Crosby, Pat O’Brien, Jimmy Durante, Charles S. Howard and Oliver Hardy. Soon after it opened for business, the track hosted the famous Seabiscuit-Ligaroti match and from that moment forward, spectators returned week after week for more heart-pounding laps, and what would become the place to enjoy Thoroughbred horse racing west of the Mississippi.
When I arrived at opening day last year — always held in mid-July — I discovered that most of the public parking at the track is unpaved, providing the unexpected spectacle of scads of women in open-toe high-heel shoes, hobbling their way across the dirt parking lot, weaving through rows and rows of dusty cars as they cursed the stiletto gods. I have to admit that I smiled an evil grin as they were herded through the entrance like fillies into the starting gate. That alone was worth the trip.
The custom of opening day is for women to wear big hats, and that they did! Most headdresses were classic and many were beautifully elegant while others were downright hilarious. As for the clothing, some women were dressed in stunning, sophisticated sundresses but a huge percentage were so scantily clad that their frocks reminded me of do-it-yourself sausage casings. Between the women and the horses, I couldn’t tell who was showing more leg.
There was an abundance of outrageously good-looking men in attendance — nicely dressed to boot. Most of these studs didn’t have dates on their arms and judging by the flirty glances I received, were on the lookout for more than the tail attached to the back of a horse. There were plenty of girl groups too and everyone was up for the day, placing bets, dancing around, and chitchatting with everyone who crossed their path. Prime socializing opportunities at the Del Mar track are a sure bet.
Oh, and over there: none other than actor Dylan McDermott enjoying the day. If I would have come in appropriate attire (men in suits and women in dresses or slacks paired with a tailored jacket) I’m sure I would have had access to the Del Mar Turf Club and more celebrity sightings.
But it was no biggie because my table at the track’s Café Del Sol was just the ticket. I was seated front and center, almost close enough to feel the sediment launched from the horses hooves as they bolted down the dusty track. If you prefer a casual setting, bursts of energy and unbridled cheer, this is the best spot in the house.
It didn’t hurt that at the table behind me were three single men: Lars, JJ and Tory. A total trifecta! Before long, I was saddled between them, enjoying a hearty conversation with this trio of handsome, charming fellows from the South Bay area of Los Angeles, also there to enjoy the Del Mar Track’s opening day festivities.
Unless you’re a compulsive high-stakes gambler, a day at the Del Mar track is an affordable form of entertainment, providing you stick to the minimum $2 wager. Even though I lost every time, I wasn’t concerned, and from what I observed, the wagers were just for light-hearted amusement.
The Del Mar season runs from mid-July through early September and includes more than horse races. Events include evening rock concerts, family weekends and even a chili cook-off and salsa contest. So even though opening day is certainly the “mane” event, the Del Mar horserace track is certainly not a one-trick-pony.
Copyright © Barbara Bloom/2013 Singular Communications, LLC.
SingularCity Gets Racy
SingularCity is hoofing it down to the Del Mar racetrack on Wednesday, July 17 to enjoy Opening Day festivities with fast women, fast horses and fun.
If you’re not a member yet or didn’t RSVP in time to get a complimentary ticket, you can still join in the fun. Click here to purchase your tickets to the Coors Light Opening Day party.
Besides the exciting Thoroughbred horse racing — where the turf meets the surf — opening day festivities include:
– Live band and DJ’s playing throughout the day in multiple areas.
– Large private track side areas for food & beverage, wagering, giant video board and restrooms
– Microbrew Beer Garden with 50+ beers and special food stands
– Prizes and gift bags from event partners
And of course, there’s the “One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest.” The wearing of hats is a tradition on Opening Day at Del Mar. Hats contest entrants will be judged on creativity and style by a panel of celebrity judges.
Sign up between 11:30 am and 3:00 pm in the Plaza de Mexico located just inside the Stretch Run admission gates. Be sure to watch the Hats Parade featuring all the contestants at 3:00 pm.
Hat Contest Categories:
1) Most Glamorous
2) Best Fascinator
3) Best Racing Theme
4) Funniest or Most Outrageous
5) Best Flowers/All Others
If you would like to meet with others from SingularCity, find us at the main entrance at 11 a.m.
Please consider carpooling and the train is also an option. Amtrak Surfrider is $60 roundtrip and there’s a shuttle from the Solano station (where you would get off for Del Mar).
Click here to request an invitation to join SingularCity and get access to all the fun, perks and benefits of membership!
See you at the races!!
Del Mar Horse Racing
2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd
Del Mar, CA 92014