For Del Mar’s fall meet, Hollywood is taking center stage.
The seaside oval is clearly defining its new “Bing Crosby Season” with a focus on vintage glamour and races that bear names of celebrities from years past. It’s an homage to Crosby, the singer/actor who founded the track in 1937.
“We knew that this season would not be the same as summer, so we went for a whole different marketing plan,” explained Chris Bahr, director of events and promotions.
DEL MAR RACETRACK 2014 FALL SEASON
Dates: Nov. 7-30
Where: Via de la Valle and Jimmy Durante Boulevard
Post time: 12:30 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, noon Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. Thanksgiving Day (Nov. 27); gates open 1 ½ hours before first post
Admission: $6 (Stretch Run and Clubhouse); free for children 17 and younger
Parking: $10 General, $20 Valet
Info: 858-755-1141, dmtc.com, delmarscene.com
Del Mar concert schedule:
Nov. 15: Reggae Fest with Iration
Nov. 29: Cake
The 15-day run kicks off Nov. 7 and concludes Nov. 30, with live racing action Thursdays through Sundays. Del Mar’s famous blue-and-gold summer color scheme will give way to black and gold, and staff members will don classic black vests and white shirts instead of the carefree palm-tree patterned gear.
Because Del Mar absorbed racing dates from the shuttered Hollywood Park in Inglewood, it also picked up several of its major stakes. Among them are the $300,000 Hollywood Derby and the $300,000 Matriarch, both Grade I events, which will be held Thanksgiving weekend.
“We’re going to have a strong emphasis on turf racing and 2-year-olds,” said David Jerkens, Del Mar’s racing secretary. “We’ll be reaching out to European interests and out-of-state stables to add some special spice to the meet. Our Thanksgiving weekend includes a half-dozen major grass races, which should be well-received by our local horsemen, as well as an incentive for any outfits that are willing to ship runners.”
And in keeping with its Hollywood theme, Del Mar has renamed several of its stakes to honor show-biz stars who had roots at the track. For instance, the Hollywood Prevue Stakes is now the Bob Hope Stakes, and the Cat’s Cradle Stakes will be known as the Betty Grable Stakes.
New season, new events
Del Mar’s fall meet will commence with a Vintage Hollywood Fashion Contest on Opening Day (Nov. 7), a concept similar to summer’s One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest, with prizes awarded in various categories.
Next is Track Diva Day, slated for Nov. 8. Women can spend the day with hostess Joanne Jones in the sixth-floor Seabiscuit Skyroom, which offers picturesque views of the ocean and racetrack, and listen to special guest speakers such as jockey Kayla Stra. The $75 admission includes a gourmet buffet, no-host bar, private mutuel clerks and self-service terminals, free parking, a program, raffle, trips to the paddock, an opportunity to watch a race from the winner’s circle, and a group photo. For reservations, call 858-755-1141, ext. 3427; seating is limited.
On Nov. 15, the track will host a College Day Tailgate Party, which college students can attend free with a valid student I.D. Festivities will be held in the concert area west of the grandstand.