Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

What You Need to Know Before Del Mar Opening Day

Horse racing is back at the Del Mar track for its 31-day summer season

Triple Crown Nominations Horse Racing
Gregory Bull/AP (File)

After a year with no spectators, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is operating in-person for its 2021 meet.

Del Mar’s 82nd racing season will break through the gates on Friday, July 16 and run through Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 6.

Starting Friday, horse racing fans can fill the stands at 100% capacity in its seating areas throughout the facility.

Tickets for Opening Day have sold out, but you can still catch the races starting at 2 p.m. on TV. For tickets later in the meet, check out Del Mar's digital ticketing office.

Not only are spectators returning this year, but so is award-winning race caller Trevor Denman.

After a year-long hiatus due to COVID-19, Denman is back at home on the Del Mar mic. Last year was the first time the announcer missed a season since he began at the shore oval in 1984.

When asked how he felt to be back calling the races, Denman said, "I feel a little weird right now. I will probably call some races off TVG in my entertainment room this week just to loosen up."

Of course, the races are just one part of the competition. Opening Day at Del Mar draws tens of thousands of people dressed to impress from head to toe all thanks to the annual hat contest.

You can win a share of more than $4,000 in prizes in one of four categories: Best Racing Theme, Most Glamorous, Best Fascinator, and Best Flowers. Be sure to stop by the Plaza de Mexico by 3 p.m. to enter or submit a picture of your ensemble to between 8 and 11 a.m. on Friday.

Don't forget to place your bets. First post at the shore oval will be at 2 p.m.

New this year, Del Mar is introducing a Rainbow Pick Six with a minimum 20 cent wager. This bet will replace the former Pick Six which had a $2 minimum wager in past years.

Additionally, rather than a $1 minimum bet for the Super High Five wager, there will be a 50 cent minimum this season.

For a full list of bets and more information straight from the horse's mouth, you can visit the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's website.

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