Del Mar Horse Races & Thoroughbred Club 2023

Experience the world of horse racing at the world-renowned Del Mar Race Track Thoroughbred Club for the 2023 Del Mar Horse Racing season! Enjoy Opening Day, horse races, concerts & more!
Todd Sarouhan
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Del Mar Horse Races
Del Mar Race Track
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Del Mar Horse Races
Things to Do
Getting There
Del Mar Horse Races
Things to Do
Getting There

What is the Del Mar Race Track Thoroughbred Club?

Mission Tower at Del Mar FairgroundsRace Track at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

There's nothing guaranteed to get the heart beating faster than watching your chosen thoroughbred hurtling along the turf, past the rest of the field towards the winning post.

Every summer, horse racing fans head towards the historic Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's Race Track. They can't wait to see the most famous horses and jockeys compete for some of the most prestigious trophies in the thoroughbred racing world with winnings up to $500,000!

Del Mar Race Track was built by a partnership including:

  • Bing Crosby
  • Pat O'Brien
  • Gary Cooper
  • Joe E. Brown
  • Charles S. Howard
  • And Oliver Hardy

The Club opened in 1937, on the 340-acre site of the Del Mar Fairgrounds, 20 miles north of San Diego. Between July and November each year, the nation's top racehorses, trainers, and jockeys compete for triumph in the Southern Californian sunshine.

Famous singer Bing Crosby welcomed the very first fans when the Club opened its doors. The Club's connection with Hollywood remains in evidence, with races named in honor of some of the greatest names in Tinsel Town - such as the Bob Hope Stakes, the Cecil B. de Mille Stakes, among others.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club was founded in 1968 by notable California owners, breeders, and community leaders. Their main goal was to conduct a first-class horse racing meet each summer at Del Mar on its fairgrounds.

Visit and learn more about the race track's fascinating history while soaking up the atmosphere! Get up close to the magnificent horses and bet on your favorites - there's plenty of excitement to be had. It's a great day out for the whole family. Most Fun Things to do in San Diego actually features this Horse Winning Races.

In recent years 47,000+ spectators have attended each season, with the highest handle (total value of all bets placed in one day) reaching $116,686,320!

The 5-star, luxury accommodations of L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa make it the perfect fit for any couples' vacation or upscale getaway. Watch as Todd tours its ocean view pool and soothing spa.

Stay at the L'Auberge Del Mar Resort & Spa

Ticket Pricing Information, Admission & More!

Different seasons call for different pricing options. There are several choices when it comes to admission into the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.

Whether you want to enjoy the races from a trackside dining table while enjoying delicious eats or catch the races from the second level of the Stretch Run, there are options you'll enjoy. Check out the 2023 season ticket prices below:

General Admission:

  • Regular Season: $10
  • Opening Day: $70

Stretch Run or Clubhouse Admission:

  • Thursdays & Labor Day: $10
  • Fridays: $15
  • Saturdays: $20
  • Sundays: $16
  • Pacific Classic Day: $25
  • Opening Day: $70

Reserved Seating and Box Seating options are also available.

If you’re planning to visit multiple times, consider picking up a Season Pass, which lets you sit trackside for one race per day, excluding Opening Day. Pay a flat fee of $40 for the entire 2023 season.

Enjoy a meal as you sit in comfort and watch the races with Trackside Dining Seating. There are multiple options for dining, including the First Turn, Clubhouse Terrace, Il Palio, Stretch Run Grill, Taste of the Turf Club, and Turf Club Fridays. Prices start at $75 and vary by date and table size.

Do know that ticket prices are subject to change. Ensure that you check the information with the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club before you reserve your seats, so you're not surprised by a more expensive ticket.

The Diamond Club

Racing fans are invited to take advantage of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club’s Diamond Club Discount, which is an amazing deal for repeat visitors!

When you have a Diamond Club card, you’ll receive 50% off general admission tickets throughout the 2022 Summer Season. A regular $8 ticket is cut down to just $4, and you can still enjoy great seats with incredible views of the action!

Best of all, this reduced cost also applies during Opening Day, so Diamond Club members save $26 off a $70 General Admission ticket. Note that because of this great deal, Opening Day tickets run out fast, so it’s encouraged that you purchase your ticket well in advance.

Diamond Club members also get access to special promotions throughout July, August, and September in 2023. Every Friday, take half off Del Mar's Signature Drinks during Happy Hour, and on Thursdays, enjoy free admission and $6 Coors Light pints.

Tour San Diego and Save Up To 55% When You Purchase a Go City San Diego Pass!

One day is plenty of time to witness the horse races of this fantastic Club. Chances are, you will have plenty more time to explore the beautiful city of San Diego. Only saved up for the Thoroughbred Club? No problem!

Purchase an All-Inclusive Go City San Diego pass to save up to 55% when you visit two or more participating attractions per day for your pass duration! Wind down after the horse races with some San Diego Pier fishing, a trip to the San Diego Natural History Museum or a ride on the water with a 1-hour paddle boat rental.

With this pass, you will receive free admission to over 30 different attractions spread out all over the beautiful Southern California city of San Diego. Combine your purchase with our additional discount to maximize the savings included in this fantastic deal!

Passes start at $119 per adult and $109 per child.

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What You Can Expect to See When You Visit the Del Mar Race Track

The Stands

You'll find excellent facilities in the 6-story stand. You'll have a great view of the races while enjoying a delicious meal on the Clubhouse Terrace or Del Mar Race Track's other great dining options.

Dining options include the Stretch Run Grill, Café del Sol, First Turn Restaurant, or Il Palio. On each floor, you'll also find plenty of places to grab a coffee or snacks.

The Races

Multiple races take place every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the 2023 season. A full calendar of races is available on the club’s website. There are also a few standout races held each year that are especially exciting.

The track itself is exactly 1 mile (1.609 km) long, so there's plenty of room to get close to the action.

Fans won't want to miss the most famous race at Del Mar, the Pacific Classic Day is TBD. The Pacific Classic has a whopping $1,000,000 prize and serves as a qualifier for the equally prestigious Breeders' Cup Classic, which rotates venues and was last held at Del Mar Thoroughbred Club in 2021. This year, it will be at Keeneland on November 4th-5th.

Other 'must see' races include The Del Mar Oaks on August 20, the Bing Crosby Stakes on July 30th, and the Del Mar Handicap on September 3rd, with purses of up to $250,000. The runners' field is first class, and the atmosphere is electric.

Legendary Horses

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club has a proud tradition, with some of the greatest horse racing icons competing here. Among many equine stars, in 1938, Seabiscuit, perhaps the most famous racehorse of all time, beat his rival Ligatori by a nose, after a nail-biting battle.

His courage provided a symbol of hope during the Great Depression, and his feat was later immortalized in the Hollywood movie of the same name. The Seabiscuit Stakes, one of the most popular races at the track, makes sure that his memory and spirit live on.


Enjoy the beautiful sounds of music on the Seaside Stage, located at the west end of the Grandstand with stunning Pacific Ocean views. Del Mar's concerts are free with race track admission of $6, providing you have entered the gates before the last race.

In previous years, the Del Mar Race Track has hosted such international superstars as Smokey Robinson, the spectacular Cirque du Soleil, gospel choirs, and classical ensembles.

The 2023 lineup includes world-renowned DJ Irie at the Opening Day after party on July 22nd, and music from popular Cajun bands like Euphoria Brass Band, Zydeco Mudbugs, and The Bayou Brothers during the Taste of New Orleans celebration on August 27th.

Weekly Events at the Del Mar Horse Races

Weekly events are held throughout the 2023 season. These include Daybreak at Del Mar, where you can watch workouts while eating breakfast at the track on Saturdays and Sundays; Best Bet, where expert Frank Scatoni offers racing selections every Sunday; and Happy Hour with half-off drinks on Fridays.

Keep an eye open for special events at Del Mar Fairgrounds, such as:

  • Home & garden shows
  • Antique shows
  • Silver Bay Kennel Club of San Diego
  • And the San Diego Cocktail and Spirit Festival

The Del Mar 2023 Summer Season

The Del Mar Horse Races and Thoroughbred Club will host two seasons in 2023 starting with its main season during the summer months. Events start with the exciting Opening Day events in late July and conclude with races held in mid-September.

July Events & Opening Day

Opening Day is by far the biggest event at the Del Mar Race Track, and it’s well-beloved by locals who want to dress up and have a great time. This highly popular event takes place on July 21 in 2023, with gates opening at 11:30 am.

The club holds several celebrations on Opening Day. The Grand features its namesake margarita plus an inside look at the Turf Club, while The Party and After Pony Party offer fun-filled photo booths, buffets, craft beer and cocktail bars, and music curated by a live DJ.

Opening Day is also famous for the big hats many women wear when they attend. To celebrate, the club holds a Hats Contest on opening day featuring categories like most glamorous, best racing theme, best flowers, and best fascinator.

August Events

During August, the race track hosts various events celebrating art, food, and fun! Check out live painting and fine art during the Art of Racing, and take part in the high-intensity betting of the Charity Challenge on the 6th.

On August 13th, sample local wines and food truck fare at the Uncorked Wine Festival, or come back on the 20th for the Taco & Beer Festival. You can even attend the Mardi Gras-themed Taste of New Orleans party on the 27th.

September Events

On September 3rd, join the Thoroughbred Club for the Pacific Classic Betting Challenge, which has high stakes and huge payouts for those who want to win big.

Kids under 18 are invited to the Family Fun Day on September 4th, which is full of free games and attractions. For older kids, head to the track on September 10th for College Day, where attendees with a valid Student ID can enjoy free admission and grandstand seating access.

The Del Mar Bing Crosby 2023 Fall Season

Between November 11th and December 4th, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club welcomes visitors each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, offering a full schedule of eight plus races per day. Gates open at 11am with the first post at 12:30pm.

Thanksgiving Day is a special day at the horse racing club offering a unique Thanksgiving Day brunch, a fantastic event for the entire family. With the first post set for 11am, gates open at 9:30am.

Features of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and What’s Nearby

There are many features that make this upscale Thoroughbred Club a full day of fun. Enjoy some savory bites at the many different food choices, from seafood bar at Brigantine to some delicious gourmet sandwiches at Milton's Deli.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is not far from the beautiful Del Mar beaches, Balboa Park, home to the world-renowned San Diego Zoo, and the Birch Aquarium at Scripps located in nearby La Jolla.

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Birch Aquarium at Scripps
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Who can use a Go City San Diego pass?

Adults and children (ages 3 to 12) can use the Go City San Diego pass – All-Inclusive or Explorer pass – to visit the area’s top attractions and activities.

Want to save more? Use our exclusive discount code GVSD5OFF to save an extra 5%!

Kids Will Love This Place!

Are you visiting the race track with kids? It's a family-friendly day out, and tickets are free. Special fun activities for kids happen during most weekends.

Mini Tram

Even arriving at the track is fun when they take the mini tram from the parking to the entrance! Get the visit off to a great start!

Play Area with Inflatables

After a long car journey, kids need to let off steam, and there's a variety of inflatables to bounce and slide on, so little ones and older kids can enjoy the fun.

Watch the Races

The main attraction is watching the horses' race. There's a great view from the grass area and picnic benches. Kids love picking their special horse or choosing the one with the best name and urging it on to win!

Find a spot near the finish line for the most incredible excitement - that moment when the winner passes the line is unforgettable!

Special Family-friendly Activities

On Saturdays and Sundays, Del Mar Race Track puts on special family-friendly activities for kids. Keep an eye open for one-off special events such as Jurassic Quest featuring a huge animatronic dinosaur, or Oz-Some, a spectacular Wizard of Oz-themed extravaganza for kids of all ages.

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Directions & Parking for the Race Track

The Del Mar Race Track is just west of the I-5 Freeway.

From I-5, you want to exit off of Via de la Velle. Head west, and you will see signs for the race track!

Parking rates are as follows:

You will be charged $10 per vehicle. Although, if you want preferred parking, it is $15.

Many people have recommended valet parking because it's much more manageable. For valet on opening day, it costs $40, and $25 for all other regular racing days.

Know Before you Go

Where to Stay

There are plenty of high-quality hotels located around the Del Mar Race Track that offer a convenient way to stay close to the season’s best races. Top picks include the club’s very own hotel, as well as great resorts within walking distance.

Winners Circle Resort

Fully immerse yourself in the racing state of mind at the Winners Circle Resort, which makes it easy to visit the Del Mar Race Track in between trips to the beach and meals at two gourmet on-site restaurants.

This is a great family-friendly Solana beach hotel with a heated outdoor pool, hot tub, suites with in-room kitchens, and a rec room clubhouse.

Hilton San Diego / Del Mar

Less than half a mile from the Del Mar Race Track, the Hilton San Diego / Del Mar is a beachside resort that offers guests access to on-site upscale dining and drinking experiences as well as room service. Amenities include an outdoor pool, WiFi, fitness and business centers, and both self-parking and valet parking.

L'Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa

The luxurious L’Auberge Del Mar Resort and Spa features plenty of ways to relax, from a large menu of spa treatments to beautiful oceanfront views from room balconies. Relax in estate-style rooms, dine at the on-site restaurant, have drinks by the ocean-view pool, and spend time at the resort’s tennis court and event rooms.

Handicappers at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

There are several Handicappers at the Club including:

  • Brad Free DRF
  • Frank Scatoni
  • OptixEQ
  • Deuce Bruce
  • Jeff Nahill

Although this information is always subject to change as time goes on.

Handicapping is essentially calculating advantages in order to provide an equal opportunity for every contestant to win. The handicappers will often take the horse's racing form, breed, and average wins into account.

Dress Codes

Each section of the Club has a different required dress code. This can include suits or sports jackets for men, and daytime sundresses for women. Check with the section of the Club you're interested in for the latest dress code details!

Hours of Operation

The Club is unique in the hours that they operate and open. Check the latest details to purchase your membership. Some days they will open at noon, others at 3 pm. They are also closed on select days during the week. Each week differs depending on the scheduled Del Mar race times so do check before heading to the race track.

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