May 19, 2002
Opening Day is always special,and,in time-honored tradition,local socialites vie to wear a hat that will be dubbed the "best" in one of several different categories. Pacific Classic Day, with its cool 1 million stake,occurs on August 25 with an early 12:30 p.m. post. WARNING: these days will be very popular and traffic will be the heaviest of the season. Usually posts are at 3:30 p.m.,with exceptions on Fridays at the beginning & end of the meet. One can enjoy the meet on all levels of luxury to economy, ranging from clubhouse to grandstand admission,and,of course,how much it costs will be determined by bets & non-bets. One can simply enjoy the lovely setting,the excitement generated by the shouting crowds, and by the sheer elegance of the horses running.Grandstand $5.00; Clubhouse $8.00, but parking $6.00 -major expense & hassle. See www.delmarracing.com for exact details.
Also for this 63rd annual session, you can purchase Grandstand and Clubhouse tickets,as well as restaurant tables,on line, and sign up for their e-news. Getting into and out of the huge parking lot is always somewhat difficult to unbearably tedious,so plan to use other modes of transport.
Amtrak runs a California Pacific Surfliner train between L.A. and San Diego that stops at the Solana Beach Station that is quite near the track. Fare includes train transport and a bus (double decker) that meets the train and transports passengers to the track. The Surfliner schedule is now available for downloading at the Amtrak website. Though time-consuming, it's still a better option than individual car transport.
If you MUST attend on a weekend, make it Saturday,August 17 when,in the Infield,you can sample the "products,"of over 20 microbreweries,vote for "Peoples'Choice" best in a Chili and Salsa Cook-Off, and then be entertained by the Violent Femmes in free concert there. And if you're a California resident,on Sat.,Sept.7, and Sun.,Sept 8,you show proof for free admission. WOW! But, go Very EARLY these days.If you"re a Calif.AAA member,show membership at the Grandstand Ticket Sales Window & get 40% off 2 admission tickets per day a racing program for $3.00,not $5.00.
From journal Delightful Del Mar-Summer's Alive