Girls are always looking for an excuse to get dressed up and socialize with a crowd of fabulous peeps. “Del Mar Race Track Opening Day” is the hottest ticket in San Diego and the perfect opportunity to take a day off and join in the racing fun. This annual event always entices the affluent, the powerful, the successful, the sexy, and the celebrities alike.
Opening Day at Del Mar’s is one of Southern California’s favorite days of the year and this year was certainly one of my most memorable attendance in years. An amazing crowd of 42,562 came to catch the first thoroughbred race of the season, which was the largest crowd to attend a horse race in California this year. As soon as our limo pulled into parking lot at Del Mar, it was obvious that the weekend would be fabulous, fashionable, and a true Del Mar Extravaganza.
No ladies, it is not about the horses, the race, the bets, or even that winning ticket; it’s about the beautiful peeps, the fashion, and the “One and Only Truly Fabulous Hat Contest” held every year before the race. More than 300 contestants entered the 22nd annual hat contest this year, one by one strutting their amazing creations as they compete to be the overall winner with more than $5,000 in total prizes in five different categories. Even if they don’t participate in the contest, a majority of the crowd wears a hat on Opening Day, it’s just tradition. Many women spend the entire year designing their competition hat and matching ensemble. I caught up with last year’s winner, Amber Thorne, who had been working on her 2016 design for the past four months, which was a massive ensemble of sea horses. Amber also wore a fabulous strapless matching seahorse dress, and perfectly-manicured nails with none other than matching seahorses. She tells me that she is part of a tight group of her girlfriends that take this competition very seriously and vow to do whatever it takes to win.
Obsessed race fans are seen with a cocktail in one hand and that promising winning ticket in the other hand as they watch majestic thoroughbreds burst out of the gate, neck in neck, with grass and dirt flying through the air. The crowd is cheering and screaming for their favorite horse now that millions of dollars have been wagered. Horse racing is the only sport that allow fans to participate in the game directly, through wagering bets. Even though owning thoroughbred race horses is a hobby for the wealthy and affluent, you can participate with them by investing your time in analyzing the horses and their trainers. Racing their prized animals is an expensive and serious matter to the owners and trainers, but Del Mar can be the social event of the year for you, your family, and friends.