Del Mar on a Friday is a big party – the races don’t start until four in the afternoon, so fans have a whole day to recover from the previous night’s revelries and get ready for an evening at the track. For those of us who are working stiffs, it’s a great opportunity to catch up on business before spending a fantastic evening “Where the Turf Meets the Surf.”
As I mentioned yesterday, I’m fairly new to Del Mar. This is only my second trip here, so I thought I’d use today’s blog to give you a tour of the track.
My favorite place to hang out here is near the paddock; it’s incredibly beautiful, with manicured landscaping and a fantastic view of the horses, jockeys and trainers as they prepare for the races.
The most popular places to watch the races are the Grandstand and the Clubhouse. At Del Mar, the building is huge and almost every area of it affords a spectacular view of the races. There are plenty of options to choose from depending on how much you want to spend: you can do anything from bring your own folding chairs to sit on the first floor apron (i.e. track paved area directly adjacent to the track) or splash out to get reserved box seating.
The apron is a great place to a catch a few races regardless of where you’re planning on spending your afternoon. Not only can you watch the finishes up close and personally, but for some races you can be right there as the horses break out of the starting gate.
The apron is the perfect place to cheer on your favorite horses and get a great view of the furious battles down the stretch – and it’s pretty easy to grab a good spot as long as you get the timing down (just get there about five minutes before the race starts and you should be fine.)
Another great spot to check out is the Seaside Terrace. This is an area that’s located about halfway up the track’s homestretch. There are tons of things to do there: in addition to a tented area (that once again has been beautifully landscaped – I love the attention to detail here!) there are tons of dining and drinking options.
I mean, check out this grilled cheese truck!
It has some pretty tempting offerings:
PULLED PORK AND CHEDDAR MAC AND CHEESE SANDWICH. That is a symphony of deliciousness right there. Imma eat it tomorrow.
Another great option for a day at Del Mar is the infield. This is the area located in interior of the actual oval of the track, and it’s easily accessible to everyone.
Getting there is really simple: there’s a tunnel that goes under the track, and Del Mar has decorated that tunnel with really fantastic murals:
The infield is huge, and offers some fantastic views of the racing action, especially the races on the grass course. You can get right next to the rail to see the horses run, which is pretty thrilling!
The other great thing about Friday nights at Del Mar is that there’s always a concert after the races. This evening, Soja was playing; they’re a reggae band based out of Arlington, Va., and they drew a huge crowd to the track. The concert area at Del Mar is outstanding: there’s plenty of room for a huge crowd and lots of food and beverage areas to keep any appetite sated.
Awesomely, I spotted this guy at the concert. Gotta love a guy that brings his golf clubs with him to a music show at a racetrack! That’s dedication to sport right there, my friends.
That’s it for this blog; thank you so much for stopping by, and I’ll be back tomorrow with more adventures from Del Mar!
Until then, I’ll leave you with a few more photos to tide you over.