Lure of Del Mar includes deals for seniors
A great way to beat the heat and have a good time doing it is to take in thoroughbred racing at seaside Del Mar race track.
Famous for its slogans “Where the turf meets the surf” as well as “Cool as ever,” the track is at the San Diego fairgrounds, 20 miles north of downtown San Diego.
Today, the track remains a gracious reminder of an elegant, bygone era when Del Mar became a summer playground for many Hollywood stars. When the track opened in 1937, Bing Crosby, one of the owners, was at the gate to personally greet the fans. In 1938, before a record crowd that helped make the fledgling track a success, Seabiscuit won an exciting match race by a nose.
Bucking a trend toward declining race track attendance, the track continues to set new records annually. The splendor of the sport and the seaside ambience attract people of all ages. So does the variety of activities inaugurated by the track.
More than betting
“A day at Del Mar,” said Craig Dado, executive vice president and chief marketing officer, “isn’t just about gambling anymore. It’s also a social event. Besides the races, our fans enjoy everything from concerts to beer festivals to great family entertainment.
“As for the races, there’s nothing like seeing the horses live, observing the jockeys and horses in the paddock before they parade on the track, then watching the race, cheering for your favorite and — whether you bet $1 or $1,000 — getting caught up in the excitement of the moment.”
For those new to betting, the advice of the professionals is to ignore the exotic bets, and make a simple win, place or show bet. And look for a horse other than the favorite. Statistics show that favorites win only 33 percent of the time. The return on betting the favorite is measly and a losing proposition in the long run.
For the fifth straight year the track has come up with weekly perks for seniors. On Thursday, Aug. 28, for instance, seniors 62 and over will be provided with a free Stretch Run reserved seat, free admission and a free program.
Stretch Run admission at the track is $6. Clubhouse admission is $10. The Turf Club membership is $800 a year.
Should you decide to make it a group outing, you might want to look into Group Sales. Parties of 20 or more are eligible for discounts in the popular Stretch Run Grill. And tables of 10 on the sixth-floor IL Palio Restaurant Patio, with its sky-high views, can be reserved at a discount that includes admission and racing programs.
Groups Sales also offers discount prices on good seats in the Clubhouse and in Stretch Run. Prices apply for all days of the week and include admission and program.
Due to the closure of Hollywood Park Race Track, Del Mar is expected to run more racing cards. A fall meet is planned, and in the fall of 2017 the track will host for the first time the Breeders’ Cup, usually run at Santa Anita.
There’s no better time than right now to enjoy a day at Del Mar. Win or lose, it’s a sure bet you’ll have a good time beating the heat.
Del Mar, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd., Del Mar. (858) 755-1141, www. dmtc.com