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Photo Gallery: Opening Day Hats At Del Mar Racetrack

Above: Women in their hats arrive at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club for opening day of the racing season, July 2010.

Opening day of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club's 71st racing season brought the traditional array of millinery delights to the fairgrounds. Women and men wore hats of all sizes and styles as they gathered under overcast skies.

Opening day always includes a contest for the fashionably adventurous and competitive, known as the "One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest." Prizes are given to winners in four categories: most glamorous, funniest/most outrageous, best racing theme, and best fresh flowers.

I mingled with my camera to capture the loveliest, strangest, funniest, and most elaborate hats in the mix. Check out our exclusive Culture Lust gallery of photos.

The Del Mar racing season lasts 37 days, running through September 8. There is no racing on Mondays, except for Labor Day, and Tuesdays. First post is at 2 p.m., except on Fridays, when races start at 4 p.m.

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