Thursday, July 19, 2012

Opening Day 2012 - Del Mar Races!

We've lived here all our lives, but have never attended Opening Day at the Del Mar Races. I've always heard the hats that people wear on this day are I couldn't wait to see it for my own eyes. Check out these pics from last year that I found - craziness! The famous hat contest they host is now in it's 18th year.

Del Mar Race history dates back to 1937 and this year marked it's 75th Season - bringing in it's new record of 47,339 anxious betters - so cool we were one of those people!
Just another gorgeous SD day!

Here are some of the hats I saw upon walking in...

Here are this year's winners & runner up's for these categories:
  1. Best Racing Theme
  2. Funniest or Most Outrageous
  3. Most Glamorous
  4. Best Flowers/All Others
  5. Best Fascinator

And here's MY hat! I couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome... everything was bought at Michael's. So with the vision in my head & a hot glue gun in my hand - I went to work, literally the night before Opening Day! 


Me & my sis Chels
Me & my sis Amanda
I wish I'd gotten more pictures of the group of gals we were with (and better quality since all of these are with my cell)... but it was SO packed. To get all 8 of us in a line with our huge hats would've been a major task because there was barely room to stand two of us side by side. It was fun at times, but just so chaotic. There were a few people I had hoped to meet up with there as well, but with all the people using their phones, cell services was TERRIBLE! My texts & calls wouldn't go through, it was a nightmare.

my ladies
With SO many people, getting a drink or food was almost nearly impossible...half our time there was spent just waiting in lines. You'd think that after seeing attendance growing each year for the last 8 years, that the organizers would set up additional bars throughout the track to accommodate us all. But that wasn't the case. And betting on horses was just as nuts - ridiculous lines. I only bet on 2 races, no wins - aw well.

I kind of want a re-do, on a less stressful/crowded day... I like being able to walk over to the paddock to watch the horses circle around & get warmed up - then pick out my favs. Then once they start walking to the starting corrals, you get in a decent line to bet...then walk out to the track & be there in time to see them start. I was unable to do any of that on Opening Day - just walking from the bar to the bathroom took 20 minutes...ugh.

All in all - if I were to ever attend Opening Day at Del Mar again - I'd do a few things differently:

  • Get there by noon in time to bet & see first race at 2pm (I was there by 1:45pm due to my car battery dying earlier in the day...bad start).
  • Have a table to sit at to view the actual races...not stuck in a sea of people desperate for a drink. 
  • Study up on horses a few weeks before to have a better idea of who to bet on. Lesson learned, haha!
  • Bring an actual camera for pics instead of only iPhone
  • Have a designated meeting place for friends well in advance, since cell service made it impossible to reach people

end of the day sunset - love this city


  1. Loved reading this blog Calista! My first apartment was across from the race track! A little studio apt. and they are still there! I think the rent was $180 a month!!! But of course that was in 1975. Crazy huh? You did a fantastic job with your hat. Both of you girls were adorable!

    1. hahaha, omg $180?!!!! Studios in that area for rent would be upwards of $1,000 or MORE now...especially that close to the!

  2. Your hat turned out lovely! Me and my partners first apartment together was a street away from a big race track, but we never went :( We always wished we had though. Unfortunately some unexpected events stopped us from going. Glad you got to go and have a good time.

    1. Aww, well if you ever get the opportunity to go to races again, definitely go! Yeah, we had fun - but it was such a chaotic experience... loved my hat at least, hahaha!


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