PERFECT DAY AT THE THOROUGHBRED CLUB: It really matters not, at a top-notch racetrack such as Del Mar, how you map out your day. We'll wager that most fans plot a different course, each as individual as the next. Yes, there shall be the admiring of the ponies at some point, but some people like to snack it up more and some like to call upon the paddocks and some like to soak in the sunshine and some like to raise a glass. But the one common activity that practically every saddle aficionado engages in at some point is the Official Jumping Up and Down. Certainly you know this? It happens in short bursts, during the heat of a run, and it is accompanied by the Fervent Shouting of Your Pony's Name, typically with the admonitions that they trot faster (or that they're doing swell). Both jumping and shouting can take the ticking out of even the most enthusiastic jumper and shouter, meaning that a restful night is key. Is there a place close to where the ponies run and that it has a pony-esque package on? Even better.
AND EVEN BETTER THAN THAT? It's the oh-so-posh Grand Del Mar resort. The Day at the Races Summer Racetrack package includes a night's stayover, two stretched reserve seats at the track, a ride to the track (and pick-up at the track later), and a copy of Racing Form and Racing Digest. Oh, and something sippable: Two mint juleps awaiting you and your best horse-following friend when you get back from the track. Cost? It starts at $645 (updated). Call it a treat for a track regular who has never done the overnight thing in the area but wants to make this season a little extra special. Some change is good, though we'd never recommend the jumping and shouting while your pony runs. That's classic, and here to stay as long as horses gallop at top speeds.
THE PACKAGE... is available through Sept. 3.