The Del Mar Track is a fabled track, tied into California’s unique culture as much as to the racing world. In the 1930s, Bing Crosby and a band of his California buddies dreamed of a track that would mix laid-back, long-night California culture with the excitement of the races. They first met at Warner Brothers’ Studios and formed the Del Mar Turf Club, mixing Hollywood and horses in the dream of a track “where the turf meets the surf, down at old Del Mar.”
Located in the seaside community of Del Mar, just off Interstate 5 on the bank of the San Dieguito River, the track is a sprawling playground where the taste of old Hollywood still lingers. You can follow this link for a virtual tour of Del Mar’s historic buildings and grounds.
Since its inaugural run in 1937, the Del Mar track has been a destination “where no one is in a hurry but the horses,” a summertime playground for racers and racing fans. The track has been updated with a new grandstand, finished in the 1990s, that stayed true to the track’s original Spanish-style charm. Over 17,000 people per day enjoy the festivities at Del Mar. The track boasts 8 restaurants and features classic signature drinks – Del Margaritas, Del Martinis, and Del Mary’s, among others. The Four O’Clock Fridays summer series offers twilight racing followed by evening concerts throughout the 43-day, high-stakes racing meet.
To this day, before the first race and after the last, the voice of Bing Crosby still sings out “where the turf meets the surf, down at old Del Mar…” Bing’s racing legacy lives on, with all the modern glitz and glamour appropriate to a modern California cultural icon.
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