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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


By HRI Foreign Staff — Del Mar Racetrack, located in Del Mar, California, is one of the most iconic horse racing venues in the United States. Known for its beautiful seaside location and rich history, Del Mar offers a unique racing experience that attracts enthusiasts worldwide. This article provides an in-depth look at the Del Mar Racetrack, covering its history, key events, and the overall racing experience.

History of Del Mar Racetrack

Del Mar Racetrack has a storied history that dates back to its opening in 1937. The racetrack was founded by legendary entertainer Bing Crosby, who was instrumental in bringing the vision to life. On opening day, Crosby himself was at the gate to greet the first patrons, setting a precedent for the glamorous and star-studded atmosphere that Del Mar is known for.

  1. Early Years: In its early years, Del Mar quickly became a favorite among Hollywood celebrities and the general public alike. The racetrack was designed to be more than just a place for horse racing; it was a social hub where people came to see and be seen.
  2. World War II: During World War II, Del Mar was temporarily closed and used as a training facility by the United States Marine Corps. After the war, the racetrack resumed operations and grew in popularity.
  3. Modern Era: Today, Del Mar Racetrack is renowned for its premier racing events and continues to be a significant draw for residents and visitors. The racetrack has undergone several renovations to maintain its status as a top-tier racing venue.

Key Events at Del Mar Racetrack

Del Mar Racetrack hosts several major racing events throughout the year, each attracting large crowds and featuring some of the best horses and jockeys in the sport.

  1. Summer Meet: The summer meet at Del Mar is one of the highlights of the racing calendar. Running from mid-July through early September, it includes the prestigious Pacific Classic, a race synonymous with Del Mar’s racing excellence.
  2. Fall Meet: The fall meeting, known as the Bing Crosby Season, runs from early November to early December. This meet offers a more relaxed atmosphere but still features high-quality racing, including several stakes races.
  3. Breeders’ Cup: Del Mar has had the honor of hosting the Breeders’ Cup, one of the most prestigious events in horse racing. The event brings together the best horses from around the globe, competing in a series of championship races.

The Racing Experience at Del Mar

Del Mar Racetrack is known for offering an unparalleled racing experience. It combines top-notch racing with a picturesque setting and various entertainment options.

  1. Betting on Horses: Del Mar provides numerous options for horse betting. The racetrack features state-of-the-art betting facilities, and patrons can place bets online. Understanding the odds and having a good strategy can enhance the excitement of the races.
  2. Spectator Amenities: Del Mar offers a range of amenities for spectators, including premium seating options, dining facilities, and hospitality suites. The track’s famous slogan, “Where the Turf Meets the Surf,” perfectly captures the unique appeal of watching races by the ocean.
  3. Family-Friendly Activities: Del Mar is also a family-friendly venue, offering activities and events for all ages. From family picnic areas to special events like Family Fun Day, the racetrack ensures everyone can enjoy their visit.

Tips for First-Time Visitors

A few tips can help make the experience more enjoyable and memorable for those planning their first visit to Del Mar Racetrack.

  1. Arrive Early: Arriving early allows visitors to explore the venue, find good seating, and enjoy the pre-race activities. Early arrival also helps avoid the crowds and ensures a better overall experience.
  2. Dress Code: While Del Mar is known for its casual, seaside atmosphere, certain racetrack areas have dress codes. Check the dress code requirements for the specific areas you plan to visit.
  3. Explore the Grounds: Explore the entire racetrack, including the paddock area where horses are paraded before each race. This offers a closer look at the competitors and adds to the excitement.

Del Mar Racetrack in Popular Culture

Del Mar Racetrack is significant in popular culture, frequently appearing in films, television shows, and literature. Its glamorous image and association with Hollywood stars have symbolized luxury and excitement in horse racing.

  1. Hollywood Connections: Over the years, many celebrities have been associated with Del Mar as visitors or as participants in special events. This connection to Hollywood adds to the track’s allure and helps maintain its high-profile status.
  2. Media Coverage: Del Mar receives extensive media coverage, especially during its major racing meets. This coverage helps promote the racetrack and attract new fans to horse racing.
  3. Literary Mentions: Del Mar has been mentioned in various works of literature, often portrayed as a glamorous and exciting place. These mentions contribute to the racetrack’s mystique and reputation.

Online Resources for Del Mar Racetrack

Several online resources can provide valuable information for those looking to learn more about Del Mar Racetrack or plan a visit.

  1. Official Website: The Del Mar Racetrack website offers comprehensive information on upcoming events, ticket purchases, and visitor amenities. It also provides a detailed history of the racetrack and its significance in horse racing.
  2. Horse Racing Review Sites: Horse racing review sites offer insights and reviews from other visitors, providing tips and recommendations. These sites benefit first-time visitors looking to make the most of their trip.
  3. Betting Guides: Numerous online guides provide strategies and tips for placing bets on horses. These guides can help newcomers understand the intricacies of horse race betting and improve their chances of success.


Del Mar Racetrack is more than just a venue for horse racing; it is a symbol of tradition, excellence, and entertainment. From its rich history and significant racing events to the unique experience it offers spectators, Del Mar continues to be a beloved destination for horse racing enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking to bet on horses or enjoy a day at the races, Del Mar Racetrack provides an unforgettable experience that captures the spirit of this timeless sport.

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