Del Mar’s Summer racing season is back “Where the Turf Meets the Surf”

DEL MAR (KUSI) – When Del Mar opens its gates on Wednesday, July 18 summer is officially on in San Diego. Thousands of locals and vacationers will race to the famous seaside oval for an action-packed season of high stakes competition, lively entertainment and exciting craft food and beer festivals running through Labor Day Monday, September 3.

Known as one of the most fabulous, fashionable and fun festivities in the west, Opening Day at Del Mar, presented by BMW, has been a long-standing summer tradition in San Diego. The day will attract fashion-forward trendsetters strutting their finest outfits and, of course, their most extravagant hats for the Opening Day Hats Contest that will turn heads as fans compete for more than $5,000 in total prizes.
The excitement will continue throughout the season with free concerts featuring top entertainers, festivals presenting locally crafted cuisine and award-winning beers, along with high-stakes races showcasing many of the nation’s leading Thoroughbreds, trainers and jockeys. With something new every week, spending a sunny summer afternoon at Del Mar is always a sure bet.

This year, Del Mar’s Summer Concert Series will present more free concerts than ever! Every Friday night and almost every Saturday night there will be live acts ranging from reggae to rock to Indie to hip-hop. All performances will take place in the seaside concert area, located at the west end of the grandstand. Performances begin shortly after the last race of the day.

The 2018 lineup includes:
• Friday, July 20: Psychedelic Furs
• Saturday, July 21: Iration
• Friday, July 27: Steel Pulse
• Friday, August 3: Matisyahu
• Friday, August 10: Aloe Blacc
• Saturday, August 11: Reggae Fest with Ziggy Marley
• Friday, August 17: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
• Friday, August 24: Tribal Seeds
• Friday, August 31: Café Tacvba
• Sunday, September 2: Ice Cube
**Additional acts and dates to be announced.

All concerts are 18 and up and free with the purchase of standard $6 racetrack admission. Friday concerts are presented by Toyota. Returning this summer is the opportunity for concertgoers to upgrade their concert experience in the South Terrace, a premium view and VIP section. For just $50, this exclusive ticket includes an enhanced view with seating, private restrooms and private cash bar.

Guests should be sure to arrive in advance of all Friday concerts to enjoy Party in the Plaza with beer specials, interactive stations and music by Saint Archer. A solid Friday at the track wouldn’t be complete without a killer happy hour, so Del Mar has fans covered with Friday Happy Hour when all signature drinks are half-off from gate opening until 6 p.m. every Friday throughout the season.

In addition to free concerts, Del Mar brings together the best of San Diego’s buzzing culinary and craft beer scenes with a variety of delicious events. Bringing craft beer enthusiasts joy will be delights such as: Burgers and Brews, the annual Craft Beer Fest and, to spice things up, a Wing Fest and Michelada Fest. Back again to dish out the best SoCal bites on four-wheels is Del Mar’s Food Truck Festival on August 11. Then, barbeque lovers can taste dozens of smoked meats at Del Mar’s Turf & Surf BBQChampionship on Sunday, August 19.

Wednesdays are getting a whole lot tastier this summer with Free & Easy Wednesdays Featuring Tacos & Tallboys. Race fans still get the free and easy items they know and love – free admission, free seat, and free program – but for the first time it will be paired with famous Brigantine fish tacos and tallboys. All day Wednesdays in Plaza de Mexico throughout the season (excluding Opening Day), guests can enjoy $3 classic Brigantine fish tacos and half-priced tallboys of Corona, Modelo, Pacifico and Coors Light.

Every weekend is fun for the family, but some can’t miss dates for special family fun at Del Mar include Sunday, July 22 for Del Mar’s Supersized Family Fun Day, providing an abundance of engaging activities for little ones. Also, children can enjoy a morning of free donuts, juice and the chance to get an up-close look at the Thoroughbreds as they complete their morning workouts during Donuts Day at Del Mar on Saturday, July 28 and Saturday, August 11.

Halfway through the season, Del Mar will present its most highly anticipated race of the summer, the $1-million TVG Pacific Classic, on Saturday, August 18. The mile and a quarter Grade I testing is one of the west’s foremost prizes and eligible to attract several of the best Thoroughbreds in the country. The day also will feature the Craft Beer Fest and presentation of the Laffit Pincay, Jr. Award.

Summer racing at Del Mar takes place Wednesday through Sunday with the one exception of Closing Day on Labor Day Monday (9/3). First post daily will be at 2 p.m. First post on Friday’s will be 4 p.m. with the exceptions of August 24 and August 31 when the first post shifts to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 858-755-1141 or visit

Categories: Good Morning San Diego

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