Opening Day at Del Mar Racetrack: What to know before you go (2024)

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DEL MAR, Calif. — Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack is slated for Friday, marking the 84th season for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Club officials say last season featured the “highest-ever daily average wagering and prize money seen in California,”making 2022 a record-breaking year for the wagering sport.

Opening Day will feature 10 races, the Opening Day Hats Contest and “all the fanfare that makes it an unofficial San Diego holiday,” said event organizers. Attendees can expect world-class racing, luxury food and drinks, plus horse racing fashion displayed with big hats and more.

Last week, the club announced Opening Day tickets are sold out. However, limited tickets remain available for the rest of the weekend — July 22-23 – as well as throughout the summer season.

“This will be the third year we’ve capped attendance on Opening Day and the feedback we have received from our fans over this time has been overwhelmingly positive,” said Del Mar chief executive officer Joe Harper. “A sell-out crowd where everyone has easier access to wagering, food and beverage and other amenities is the right way to get our 84th racing season off to a strong start. We’re excited by the level of fan interest and we’re looking forward to the start of the summer meet.”

Here some things attendees should know ahead of the much anticipated event.

Betting

The club says the 2023 betting menu will look familiar to those who have played the seaside track over the past several years.

The wagering starts with the traditional Win/Place/Show bets and extends out to five different multi-race exotic offerings: the Early Pick Four, the Late Pick Four, the Early Pick Five, the Late Pick Five and the Pick Six.

The Opening Day Pick Six bet will have several high-interest “mandatory payout” afternoons that will be announced once the race meet is up and running, according to the club.

“It’s basically our classic betting menu which has proven extremely popular with our fans,” said Del Mar’s Director of Mutuels, Bill Navarro. “The Opening Day Pick Six guarantee for $1 million will fire things up right away and we’re looking forward to another season of action aplenty over the course of the summer.”

The full array of Del Mar bets is a follows: $2 Win, Place and Show (all races): $1 Exacta (all); $2 Quinella (all); $2 Rolling Doubles (all except last); $1 Rolling Pick 3 (all except last two); $1 Superfecta (10¢ minimum – all); $1 Place Pick All (starts w/Race 1 or 2); 50¢ Super High 5 (last); 20¢ Pick Six (last six); 50¢ Players’ Pick 5 (first five and last five); 50¢ Pick 4 (Races 2 thru 5 and last four), and $2 Win-Place-Show Parlay (all races but last).

Parking and transportaion

Del Mar is located just west of the Interstate 5 freeway. Motorists should exit atVia de la Valleand head west to the racetrack. The exact address is 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. in Del Mar.

Parking fees are charged on a per-vehicle basis when entering the facility with prices starting at $15. Event organizers say no re-entry will be allowed. Preferred, valet and limo/bus parking prices also are available. All parking options can be seenhere. Parking areas will open at 10 a.m.

For transportation, the Amtrack and Coaster trains stop in Solana Beach wherea complimentary shuttle service is availableto transport attendees to and from the track on race days. Continuous service begins at 9 a.m. with return service departing 15 minutes after each race and 30 minutes after the last race of the day.

Timeline

Gates for Opening Day at Del Mar Racetrack will open at 11:30 a.m. Friday. The first race is set to begin at 2 p.m.

Entry for the Hats Contest will close at 3 p.m. Show off your creation before this time in the Plaza de Mexico. The winners will be announced after the sixth race of the day.

The last race is slated to begin at 6:38 p.m., but this is subject to change.

With thousands of people flocking to San Diego Comic-Con at the downtown Convection Center this weekend, planning ahead for Opening Day is encouraged.

Opening Day at Del Mar Racetrack: What to know before you go (2024)

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