Del Mar Horse Races: Your Guide to the Best Events & Specials

From world-famous hat contests to race themed cocktails, Del Mar is pulling out all the stops for this year’s racing calendar.


Edited by Madelyn Harris


L’Auberge Del Mar Opening Day After Party
July 19. Experience the ultimate Opening Day after party at L’Auberge Del Mar’s exclusive resort. The event includes live music and entertainment, party foods from chef Nathan Lingle, delicious desserts, craft beer, featured liquors and a cash bar. $229. 5 p.m.-midnight. L’Auberge Del Mar, 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858.259.1515.

After party at L'Auberge Del Mar
After party at L’Auberge Del Mar

Pick Your Ponies Party
July 19. Calling all racing fans who are looking for insight and strategies into betting, this event is for you. Michelle Yu from BetAmerica will share her educational tips for Opening Day and lead a panel discussion with Hall of Fame jockeys. Guests can enjoy crafted cocktails and bites from KITCHEN 540. $50. 6-9 p.m. L’Auberge Del Mar, 1540 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858.259.1515.


Opening Day Hats Contest at the Del Mar Racetrack
July 19. Kick off the racing season and participate in San Diego’s most famous hat contest. The stakes are high, with $5,000 in prizes awarded to the most fashionable fans. Fashion-forward guests can compete in the following categories: Most Glamorous, Best Racing Theme, Funniest/Most Outrageous, Best Fascinator and Flowers/All Other. Sign ups held from 11:30 a.m.-3 p.m. Free to enter. Del Mar Racetrack, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858.755.1141.


Chargers Day at Del Mar
July 22. Though the Chargers no longer call San Diego home, celebrate the 55 years they brought their athleticism to “America’s Finest City”. Chargers Day is a chance to personally thank those players for their run in San Diego. Meet past and present athletes, take pictures, and get autographs from your favorite Chargers. Del Mar Racetrack, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar, 858.755.1141.



Del Mar Racing Specials at Red O La Jolla
Ongoing. Guests will feel like winners with a variety of food and drink specials being offered during racing season. Following the first races on July 19, fans can enjoy the “Stakes & Steaks” special, which includes a complimentary steak or seafood entrée with the purchase of one entrée at equal value. Red O La Jolla will also feature special cocktails in honor of the horse races. Reservations can be made online. Red O La Jolla, 4340 La Jolla Village Drive, 858.291.8360.

Shrimp Diablo at Red O La Jolla
Shrimp Diablo at Red O La Jolla

Searsucker Del Mar Opening Day Celebration
July 19. On Opening Day, join Searsucker Del Mar for an all-night happy hour and live music by The King Taylor Project, The KneeHighs and DJ Beat Bandit. Guests can enjoy specials such as sangria and duck fat fries while enjoying the ambiance and music. 4:30 p.m. Searsucker Del Mar, 12995 El Camino Real #21, 858.369.5700.


Pacifica Del Mar Opening Day Party
July 19. Experience the best of both worlds: the excitement of Opening Day and the serenity of a beautiful ocean view celebration. Bar entry gives each guest a $25 dining credit to be used on any food or beverage. Plus, enjoy a live DJ from 5-11 p.m. $25. Pacifica Del Mar, 1555 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, 858.792.0476.

Pacifica Del Mar Opening Day Party
Pacifica Del Mar Opening Day Party







Ode to the Equestrian Specials at CUCINA enoteca
Ongoing. To get fans in the true race-day spirit, the Del Mar restaurant is bringing back their popular race-inspired cocktail menu. Highlighted drinks include “The Crosby”, made with bourbon, canton, strawberry and chocolate bitters, and “Wire to Wire”, made with matusalem rum, giffard peche, lemon and firewater bitters. Available during race season. CUCINA enoteca, 2730 Via de la Valle, Del Mar, 858.704.4500.



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