Del Mar’s Summer Racing Season Is Back Where the Turf Meets the Surf From July 18 - September 3

July 8, 2018

After making history hosting its first ever Breeders’ Cup Championships in 2017, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is looking ahead to its highly anticipated 2018 summer meet, with opening day on Wednesday, July 18. Thousands of locals and vacationers will race to the famous seaside oval for an action-packed season of high stakes competition, lively entertainment and exciting craft food and beer festivals running through Labor Day Monday, September 3.

Known as one of the most fabulous, fashionable and fun festivities in the west, Opening Day at Del Mar has been a long-standing summer tradition in San Diego. The day will attract fashion-forward trendsetters strutting their finest outfits and, of course, their most extravagant hats for the Opening Day Hats Contest that will turn heads as fans compete for more than $5,000 in total prizes.

The excitement will continue throughout the season with free concerts featuring top entertainers, festivals presenting locally crafted cuisine and award-winning beers, along with high-stakes races showcasing many of the nation’s leading Thoroughbreds, trainers and jockeys. With something new every week, spending a sunny summer afternoon at Del Mar is always a sure bet.

This year, Del Mar’s Summer Concert Series will present more free concerts than ever! Every Friday night and almost every Saturday night there will be live acts ranging from reggae to rock to Indie to hip-hop. All performances will take place in the seaside concert area, located at the west end of the grandstand. Performances begin shortly after the last race of the day. The 2018 lineup includes Psychedelic Furs (Jul 20), Iration (Jul 21), Steel Pulse (Jul 27), Switchfoot (Jul 28), Matisyahu (Aug 3), Aloe Blacc (Aug 10), Reggae Fest with Ziggy Marley (Aug 11), Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats (Aug 17), Tribal Seeds (Aug 24), Café Tacvba (Aug 31), Slightly Stoopid (Sep 1), and Ice Cube (Sep 2). All concerts are 18 and up and free with the purchase of standard $6 racetrack admission. Returning this summer is the opportunity for concertgoers to upgrade their concert experience in the South Terrace, a premium view and VIP section. For just $50, this exclusive ticket includes an enhanced view with seating, private restrooms and private cash bar.

In addition to free concerts, Del Mar brings together the best of San Diego’s buzzing culinary and craft beer scenes with a variety of delicious events. Bringing craft beer enthusiasts joy will be delights such as Burgers and Brews, the annual Craft Beer Fest, a Wing Fest, and a Michelada Rumble. Back again to dish out the best SoCal bites on four-wheels is Del Mar’s Food Truck Festival on August 11. Barbeque lovers can taste dozens of smoked meats at Del Mar’s Turf & Surf BBQ Championship on Sunday, August 19.

Wednesdays are getting a whole lot tastier this summer with Brigantine Wednesdays. Race fans still get the free and easy items they know and love - free admission, free seat, and free program - but for the first time it will be paired with famous Brigantine fish tacos and a Coors Light. All day Wednesdays in Plaza de Mexico throughout the season (excluding Opening Day), guests can enjoy $3 classic Brigantine fish tacos and $4 16-oz pints of Coors Light.

A post shared by Del Mar Thoroughbred Club (@delmarracing) on
Every weekend is fun for the family, but some can’t miss dates for special family fun at Del Mar include Sunday, July 22 for Del Mar’s Supersized Family Fun Day, providing an abundance of engaging activities for little ones. Also, children can enjoy a morning of free donuts, juice and the chance to get an up-close look at the Thoroughbreds as they complete their morning workouts during Donuts Day at Del Mar on Saturday, July 28 and Saturday, August 11.

Halfway through the season, Del Mar will present its most highly anticipated race of the summer, the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic, on Saturday, August 18. The mile and a quarter Grade I testing is one of the west’s foremost prizes and eligible to attract several of the best Thoroughbreds in the country. The day also will feature the Craft Beer Fest and presentation of the Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award.

Summer racing at Del Mar takes place Wednesday through Sunday with the one exception of Closing Day on Labor Day Monday (9/3). First post daily will be at 2pm. First post on Friday’s will be 4pm, with the exceptions of August 24 and August 31 when the first post shifts to 3:30pm. For more information, visit