Del Mar racing opens with hat contest, Oceanside Stakes

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s 71st season of horse racing gets under way today in Del Mar with the traditional showiness, including the"One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest.”

Prizes will be awarded to those who wear hats deemed the most glamorous and the funniest/most outrageous, as well as the headgear with the best racing theme and the best fresh flowers.

The racing schedule on opening day includes the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes, a mile-long turf race for 3-year-olds.

The 37-day racing season at the Del Mar Fairgrounds runs through Sept. 8. There is no racing on Mondays, except for Labor Day, and Tuesdays. First post is at 2 p.m., except on Fridays, when races start at 4 p.m.

“Four O’Clock Fridays’’ will feature performances by Pinback, Common Sense, The B-52s, The Soft Pack, Jimmy Cliff and Matisyahu, Ozomatli, Weezer, Super Diamond, The English Beat and ZZ Top.

The premier race of the season is the $1 million Pacific Classic, set for Aug. 28.

General admission on opening day is $10, and a Clubhouse ticket is $20. During the rest of the season, general admission is $6 and it will cost $10 to get into the Clubhouse.

Bing Crosby and fellow entertainer and actor Pat O’Brien founded the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in 1937. Crosby later penned the “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” theme song.