Opening Day enthusiasts tip their hats to the races

Feathers, tulle, palm trees, flowers, peacocks - even a papier-mâche horse head adorned one of the thousands of hats that graced Opening Day on July 22 at the Del Mar Racetrack.

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Most wore hats for fun, the sake of tradition and protection from the hot sun, but some took their head dressings a bit more seriously and entered the One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest.

The grand-prize winner was David Schaner of Placentia. Schaner spent more than a month working on his colorful hot air balloon hat. Aviator goggles, racing silks and a hot air balloon basket completed his look. In addition to winning the grand prize of a Toshiba 40-inch HD LCD TV ($1,000 value), Schaner also won first place in the Funniest/Most Outrageous category and will take home $300.

First-place winners in other categories were: Haven Schneider of Laguna Beach, Best Flowers/All Others; Mikey Johnson of Poway, Best Racing Theme; and Kadi Karusaar of Spring Valley, Most Glamorous.

Check out a selection Opening Day brims (and outfits) here.