Opening Day at Del Mar Racetrack Did Not Disappoint

Opening Day at Del Mar Racetrack Did Not Disappoint

“I can make a General in five minutes but a good horse is hard to replace.” – Abraham Lincoln

Opening Day Del Mar

It was a wonderful Opening Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.  The “people watching” was spectacular and the horse races were terrific.  I didn’t see him/her, but Caitlyn Jenner (AKA Bruce Jenner) was at the track fresh-off of winning the ESPY Arthur Ashe Courage Award.  US Magazine has the coverage on that story.

There were some really good races. The number 7 horse jumped out of the gate prematurely in the very first race.  He didn’t get disqualified, he also didn’t win, but it was an interesting start to an exciting race season.

Opening Day Del Mar Opening Day Del Mar

The San Diego Union Tribune covered the event, and gave some great statistics:

  • Attendance topped 40,000, but a little less than last year.
  • The track debuted a new dirt track that replaced the Polytrack. Racing went off flawlessly and safely on the turf and dirt.
  • Overall handle topped $15 million, up 2.6 from a year ago. On-track handle was nearly $4 million, off 7.1 percent from last year’s opener.

Opening Day Del Mar

One of the coolest things this year was the ability to make bets via an app on your phone.  The process requires you to:

  • Go to the pari-mutuel information window in the first floor near the Stretch Run
  • Open a Diamond Club Membership, which allows you to use the kiosks and the on-line wagering app.
  • Get a voucher to deposit money into your account
  • Deposit the voucher into your account
  • Start betting!

Unfortunately the Wi-Fi coverage and even the 4G coverage was horrible at the track yesterday, so I wasn’t even able to download the mobile app.  My fiancée was able to download the app, but we could only use the on-line system for one race before wifi was simply overloaded.  It would be really cool if they could get it working in a reliable and secure way.  There are ways to do this technologically and there are even ways to improve the 4G coverage at events like this if the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club wanted to do that.

Opening Day Del Mar

The crowd was big, but generally polite. Everyone seemed to be having a really wonderful time enjoying one of the biggest events of the year in San Diego! It was a little hot in the early afternoon, especially if you wore a long dress or a sport coat.  The hats and dresses were spectacular as always.  Near the paddock and next to the track, the fashion ranged from high fashion to grunge.  It was difficult to find any place to sit, especially a spot with shade, but we were able to periodically find spots which was nice. It was a long race day and by the end of it my fiancee had switched into her flat shoes, unlike a few unlucky women who were walking barefoot back to their cars. (They apparently did not read our blog story about bringing extra shoes!)

Opening Day Del Mar

We avoided any official after-parties this year and just ate dinner with friends at The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, before heading to Mille Fleurs to dance until the night was through!

Did you attend Opening Day? Make sure you share your hat photos with us using #NamasteLuxury and follow us on social media to see photos of our favorite hats!



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Patrick Henry
Written by

Patrick Henry, CEO of QuestFusion, former CEO of Entropic Communications, entrepreneur, executive, father, and freelance blogger living the luxury and active lifestyle in San Diego.


  • Madeleine VandenHeuvel

    The app is such a cool idea if they can get it working! Opening Day looks like a lot of fun. Next year!

  • Melia Indta

    I missed opening day this year, so thanks for the great blog post! I’m excited about the betting ap, / although I love watching the horses in the circle, then running to the betting lines, makes for a rush of excitement.
    P.s. I want to win those tix