Horse Racing Returns To Del Mar For The 76th Season Starting July 16

July 4, 2015

Surrounded by free concerts, culinary and craft beer festivals and fun in the sun in one of the great party locations in America, horse racing at its best will be served up and dished out better than ever starting this summer at the place “where the turf meets the surf,” known to many simply as Del Mar Racetrack. The racing headquarters alongside the Pacific will be off and running for its 76th summer season starting on Opening Day Thursday, July 16. And instead of the usual seven-week stand that has been in place for decades, fans will get an extra week of action this go-round stretching out to Labor Day Monday, September 7. Then, to add some additional spice to the mix, the track’s second edition of its new “fall” season will beef up from four weeks to five, starting on Thursday, October 29 and racing ahead to Sunday, November 29.

Opening Day of the summer session, known far and wide as - a) the best racing kickoff in America; b) the biggest outdoor party in Southern California; c) the official start of summer in San Diego; d) all of the above - comes not only with the return of fast horses to the shore oval, but 40,000-plus people ready to kick off the season at the Opening Day Party. The track’s Opening Day Hats Contest, which has entered the “legendary” zone after two decades of visual explosions, encourages a dressing up that has to be seen to be believed.

Besides the marvelous competition among the track’s high-line Thoroughbreds and its world-class jockeys and trainers, the cavalry grounds started by entertainment icon Bing Crosby back in the 1930s provides additional entertainment daily that’s sure to delight all. There are VIP parties, family fun weekends, craft beer and food festivals, giveaways, racing seminars and a free musical lineup that will deliver the hottest hits of the summer to enjoy. Every Friday and on selected Saturdays throughout the season musical acts swing into full motion after the races.

When the sun sets at the seaside track, the stage lights up and the racetrack transforms into a rockin’ beachside playground for Del Mar’s annual Summer Concert Series. This summer’s entertainment line-up features 11 special performances that encompass a wide musical spectrum. From notable reggae names such as The Wailers, Ziggy Marley, Steel Pulse and Pepper, to SoCal punk legends The Offspring, along with electro-house sounds sprinkled in with Thievery Corporation and DJ pioneer Paul Oakenfold, concertgoers can experience a wave of new and classic rhythms all summer long. This year's schedule includes the following performances

· Friday, July 17 – The Wallflowers
· Friday, July 24 – The Wailers
· Saturday, July 25 – The Offspring
· Friday, July 31 – The Crystal Method
· Saturday, August 1 – Reggae Fest with Ziggy Marley
· Friday, August 7 – Thievery Corporation
· Friday, August 14 – Steel Pulse
· Friday, August 21 – Pepper
· Friday, August 28 – “Weird Al” Yankovic***all ages show
· Friday, September 4 – Paul Oakenfold
· Sunday, September 6 – Weezer

Pouring into Del Mar again this summer, is a pair of the popular craft beer festivals, which have quickly become big fan favorites in the past few years. San Diego home brews, known nationally as being among the best of the best, will be on display twice more at the Del Mar Craft Beer Festival on Saturday, July 25 and Saturday, August 29. Other dates to mark on the calendar include the 5th annual Gourmet Food Truck Festival on Saturday, August 15, the family-friendly “Donuts at Del Mar” on Saturday morning July 18 and the super-sized Family Fun Day and Webkinz plush horse giveaway on Sunday, July 19.

True horse racing aficionados will put a star next to Saturday, August 22. That’s the day the track will present the 25th edition of its richest and most prestigious event, the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic, run at a mile and a quarter and sure to lure many of the best runners in the land. After being presented for the past eight years on the synthetic Polytrack that was installed in 2007, the Grade I Classic will be returned to dirt, as will all main track races this summer following a $4.5 million conversion back to the track’s original surface in a four-month process accomplished over the winter.

Following the summer meeting, racing fans will look ahead to a fall gathering that is expected to build on the highly successful production that debuted last November, the Bing Crosby Season, a racing fête with a touch of old-time Hollywood. Opening Day for Bing Crosby Season will be on Thursday, October 29. This time the “throwback” meet gets a big buzz opener with two days of championship racing – the $26-million Breeders’ Cup being held at Keeneland Race Course in Kentucky – presented on the first Friday and Saturday (October 30 and 31) of the session.

Summer racing at Del Mar will take place in its usual Wednesday through Sunday format with the lone exception being the holiday closing day Monday (9/7). First post daily will be at 2pm with the exceptions of Fridays (4pm).

 For more information, call (858) 755-1141 or visit