The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will celebrate 75 years as a racing and entertainment destination on Opening Day 2012, Wednesday, July 18.
The seaside track’s seven-week meet will be filled with fast horses, free concerts and weekend events.
To commemorate its 75th jubilee, on Saturday, July 21 every 75th person through the gates will receive a $75 voucher to spend at the track, and everyone will receive two passes for a return trip to Del Mar. Fans also will be able to purchase a signed copy of “Del Mar at 75,” a coffee table book of photography chronicling the history of the famed track.
The track also welcome performers to its Seaside Stage for a Summer Concert Series. Race-goers can see free shows from a lineup of performers including Ben Harper, Cake and Ziggy Marley, as well as this year’s special Latin concert with Los Tucanes de Tijuana on July 29.
The first Del Mar Paddock Sale will take place Sunday, July 22 after the races. The auction of ready-to-run Thoroughbreds will include a Paddock party rivaling some of Del Mar’s most exciting celebrations. The paddock sale will be newcomer-friendly and include a morning seminar for first-time owners.
Also new to Del Mar this season: A military flyover on Opening Day; a barbecue competition (TBD); and the grand opening of 17 Hands, a craft beer and gourmet tacos restaurant.
The 2012 season also will feature fan-favorites like the Miss Cougar Del Mar Contest (July 27), Gourmet Food Truck Festival (July 28), several microbrew festivals and the annual Reggae Concert and Beer Fest (Sept. 1).
The track’s Family Fun Day is Sunday, July 22. Dog lovers can cheer on the fastest dachshunds in San Diego between races during the Wiener Dog Nationals on Labor Day, Sept. 3.
Racing at Del Mar happens Wednesday-Sunday, with post time for the first race 2 p.m. on most days. On Fridays first post changes to 4 p.m. (858) 755-1141. delmarscene.com.
2012 Del Mar Summer Concert Series
Where: Seaside Stage, west of grandstand
Tickets: Free, with track admission purchased prior to the last race, concert-only $20.