Del Mar Tradition: Free Donuts Day

It's one of the only places on the planet where pastries and ponies pair up.

WHERE DO YOU EAT DONUTS? This isn't a "gotcha" question or a query meant to put you on the spot. Donut-eating -- or doughnut-eating, if you prefer to be a bit grander about it -- happens just about anywhere. Donut shops, for one, and diners, and on the couch, and in the kitchen, and, yes, more often than not in bed, especially if a cartoon marathon is on television. But where do you consume the morning icon while taking a tour and learning information? Perhaps on a walk through your kid's new classroom (teachers often kindly supply some sweets for visiting parents) or at your spouse's office. Rarely, though, do you munch on a cruller or Boston creme as you get to know the facts behind one of the most popular spectator sports in California (and well beyond the Golden State's borders, too). "Rarely" but not never, as evidence by the always buzzed-about Donuts Day, a free to-do that happens twice at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

THE FIRST GO-AROUND... for the gratis goodies was over opening weekend, but some fans prefer to wait a couple of weeks for the second appearance of Donuts Day, when Opening Day hubbub has died down a bit and beautiful bites and pretty ponies can be enjoyed in a more relaxed atmosphere. The date is Saturday, Aug. 15, and as is so often the case with donuts, there's an early start: 8 a.m. to 10 o'clock. Trevor Denman, the announcer at Del Mar, is the host of the munchable morning, and there shall be "question and answer sessions with famous jockeys and trainers while watching the horses during their morning workouts." It's as big a tradition 'round the ocean-close landmark as traditions get, and very family-welcoming, too (there are kid-pleasing activities in addition to the Q&As). Perhaps you already did the first Donuts Day and you're back for another round. That's cool: There are few info-packed happenings that include pastries and ponies on this planet, and this is a major. Why miss it if you dig both?

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