Opening day at Del Mar brings out the fashionistas

DEL MAR (CNS) – The 37-day horse racing meet at the Del Mar Racetrack opened Wednesday, bringing around 40,000 fans to the seaside facility “where the surf meets the turf.”

Many of the women in attendance wore extravagant head gear for “The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest, ” now in its 17th year.

The winners in four categories — Most Glamorous, Best Racing Theme, Funniest or Most Outrageous and Best Flowers/Others — collect $300.

“After watching the royal wedding this spring, it seems that no outfit is complete without a hat,” said Julie Sarno, who started the contest in 1995.

She said women “are more daring about what they will put on their heads” since the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Opening day of the 72nd season of racing had as its featured race the Oceanside Stakes, for 3-year-olds running one mile on turf. It is the first of 42 stakes races in Del Mar's 72nd season of racing, which takes place Wednesdays through Sundays through Sept. 7.

Opening day last year attracted a track-record attendance of 45,309.

The “4 o'clock Fridays Summer Concert Series” returns this year. Every Friday throughout the season, a new musical act will perform after the day's races conclude.

A full list of other season events is available on the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's website at

Bing Crosby and fellow entertainer and actor Pat O'Brien founded the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in 1937. Crosby later penned the “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” theme song.

Categories: KUSI