by Jeff Newton
When the races come to town, Del Mar quickly becomes the center of the social scene in San Diego. With the beach just a few blocks away and plenty of restaurants nearby, the seaside track can become the catalyst for a full day by the coast. The good times usually start in the Del Mar stands, where several restaurants are available for fans who want to kick back and take in the scene. Whether they're dining in the Red Star Cafe, Blue Moon Celebrity Grill or any of the on-site food vendors, patrons will enjoy a cool breeze and plenty of sun.
Del Mar is the place to bring friends of any age group, from students on summer vacation to parents who want to experience the race scene. Space is hardly an issue and there's plenty of time for friends to discuss which horses they're betting on or who they like in the next race. With good fun, good food and a great atmosphere, fans often stick around for an extra race or two.
FANTASTIC SPOT FOR FRIENDS TO GET TOGETHER: DEL MAR
After the races have ended, incredible restaurants, beach views and happy hours are just a few minutes away. Casual diners, classy fish houses and a wide beer and wine selection are within walking distance from either exit. The Brigantine has long been a favorite spot for fans and horsemen alike, and it's a must visit for anyone who wants a view of the Pacific Ocean. And if you want to talk a walk or lay out on the sand, the beaches are close by as well.
On Wednesday, the race week got off to a great start with the Sorrento Stakes (G3), where the 2-year-old filly Executiveprivilige won behind a solid workmanlike performance. She took control of the race at the top of the stretch and comfortably held on to a 1 1/4-length lead at the finish line. Ridden by Del Mar veteran Rafael Bejarano, Executiveprivilige ran the 6 1/2 furlongs in 1:16.98. Bejarano now leads fellow Del Mar veteran Garrett Gomez by one win, 24-23, in the jockey standings for this year's meet.
Music fans are in for another treat on Friday night when The Offspring will take the stage in front of what's sure to be an energetic crowd. Saturday is blanket giveaway day for fans in attendance and Family Weekend will run through Saturday and Sunday. For more information on all the latest news at Del Mar, visit dmtc.com.