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Experience the Del Mar Racetrack: 8 Tips for 2015!

Del_Mar_races_-_Aug_2011-1The Del Mar Racetrack opens this Thursday, July 16th for the 2015 season. Over 50,000 people are expected to be in attendance to kick off race season “where the turf meets the surf”, creating a combination of outdoor sporting and the social atmosphere of a large outdoor mixer. With so much to see and experience, we’ve put together some tips to help you get the most of your day at the races.

1. Avoid Traffic: Take the Coaster

Traffic is a known and expected issue during Opening Day, so why not avoid the headache? You can take the Coaster to the Solana Beach Station, where it’s just a quick jaunt through the Cedros Design District to the racetrack. Schedules can be found here on the Coaster website.

2. Dress the Part

The fashion at Opening Day is always a hot topic of discussion, and who doesn’t love an excuse to get dressed up? While a dress code is not required outside of the Turf Club, many attendees choose to dress up their casual attire for the event. It is recommended that in place of stiletto high heels, women wear wedges or flats for walking on the dirt in some areas of the racetrack. Cedros Avenue, near the racetrack, has fashion boutiques with unique styles for Opening Day. Check out La Femme Chic Consignment, or Pink Lagoon for some fashion finds.

3. Participate in the Hat Contest

The iconic women’s fashion of Opening Day usually includes those large, beautiful hats. There is a hat contest to participate in, or you can wear one just to celebrate the day with style! Check out the amazing summer hat collection at Jill Courtemanche Millinery in the Cedros Design District for a wide selection of dashing hats for ladies and gentlemen.

4. Make a Reservation for Dinner

If you’re planning on dinner at the track, it is recommended that you make a reservation, due to the high volume of attendance on Opening Day. The Derby Buffet, The Clubhouse Terrace Restaurant, and The Stretch Run Grill Restaurant are all popular choices. A full list of dining offerings can be found here on the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club website.

5. Arrive Early

In addition to planning for dinner, it’s a good bet to arrive early for the races, especially on Opening Day. As previously mentioned, with so many people in attendance, crowds will be large. Rather than stressing about timeliness or long waits, arrive early and take your time.

6. Learn How to Bet

While there is no exact science to placing the perfect bet, it might be good to brush up on some common terms and practices for posting your bets. Thankfully, The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has outlines everything you need to know on their “How to Wager” page. Check it out, and try your luck at the races.

7. The Clubhouse is Worth the View

It’s worth it to pay the additional $10 on Opening Day for access to the Clubhouse. As opposed to the general admission, you gain access to much more of the track, get a better view, and avoid some of the crowds.

8. Keep the Good Times Going

The fun doesn’t have to stop just because the races end! Head over to Cedros Avenue where they have a local brewery and a divine winery. Culture Brewing Company features a wide selection of local, craft beers. If you prefer wine, Carruth Cellars is an urban winery located in the heart of the Cedros Design District, with an incredible tasting room.

The Del Mar Racetrack season spans from July 16th to September 7th. Races are not held on Mondays and Tuesdays, with the exception of Labor Day as closing day at the racetrack. For more information, please visit the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club website here.