Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

Del Mar Racetrack Opening Day 2023! Big Floral Hats, Spiffy Suits, and High- Speed Horses Return to a Smaller Crowd

This season's events include Del Mar Beer Fest (July 22) Taste of New Orleans( August 5), Turf Club Fridays, Taste of the Turf Club ( Sundays)

On Friday July 21, 2023, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club Opening Day, 84th season attracted a festive crowd of elegantly dressed woman with big hats, colorful fascinators, men with dapper suites and racing fans from all over Southern California to watch world class racing at the Del Mar Racetrack.

The racing season runs from Friday, July 21, 2023- Sunday, September 10, 2023, featuring 39 stakes races worth a total of $8.275 million. The season is brimming with trackside events and weekly affairs, including Del Mar Beer Fest (July 22) Taste of New Orleans( August 5), Turf Club Fridays, Taste of the Turf Club ( Sundays) and many more.

The sellout crowd of 20, 000 had an intentionally limited and smaller crowd than years past. In previous years, Opening Day gathered a 44,000 sellout crowd, which was over whelming.

The gated opened at 1130 am first race started at 2 pm and the last race (the 10Th) at 630 pm. One of the more popular races " The Caesar's Sportsbook Oceanside Stakes " ( the 8th race) racehorse "Conclude" outran the favorite " Classical Cat" by 1 ¼ lengths ahead to take home $ 60 000 of the winners share the $100, 000 stakes.

"Conclude" is a beautiful chestnut colored colt, rode by jockey Hector Berrios, trained by Phil D'Amato, and owned by Little Red Feather Racing, Madaket Stables, and Brereton Jones.

The popular 29th annual Opening Day Hats Contest at Del Mar, at the Plaza de Mexico, attracted more than 150 contestants. The categories included "Most Glamorous, Best Fascinator, Best Flowers, Best Racing and All Others Theme". The colorful contestants competed for more than $4,000 in total cash and prizes dispersed to first to third place winners in each category.

The Grand Prize winner was Leslie Monroy, of Spring Valley, who competed in the "Best Flowers" category. Leslie had a fabulous "Barbie-pink head-to-toe look, that included over 500 pink rose petals, 70 gold horses, with a spectacular long train of orchids. The galloping pink horse formed a trail of flowers in its track. I can imagine that this inspiring creativity took Leslie Monroy many weeks, months of hard work. Leslie won a one-night stay and meal for two at Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, a $500 Studio Savvy Salon gift basket, and a $300 cash prize for a total value of $1800.

It was an electrifying day filled with betting on fast horses, eating gourmet food at the Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant, having a Del Mar Margarita with a few friends at the Turf Club, shopping at Silks Del Mar Gift Shop and taking beautiful photos of the talented Jockeys and gorgeous thoroughbred race horses at the Paddock area and race track finish line.

There were many after parties, including a festive after party at Rancho Valencia, 5921 Valencia Circle and a 80's disco party at L'Auberge Del Mar. 1540 Camino del Mar.

However, after all the opening day festivities I decided to make it an early evening. I returned to the charming Airbnb in town that I had rented to facilitate my getting up early to explore the scenic town of Del Mar and its magnificent beaches before returning home to Los Angeles.


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