Wednesday, July 18, 2012
The 75th season of horse racing at the Del Mar Racetrack is scheduled to begin today, highlighted by the annual hat contest and the $100,000 Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds.
The "One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest'' is scheduled for 11:30 a.m. in the Plaza de Mexico, with a panel of celebrity judges rating lids on style and creativity. Categories include Best Racing Theme, Funniest or Most Outrageous, Most Glamorous, Best Flowers and Best Fascinator, which is a type of headpiece or hair accessory.
The grand prize is two American Airlines round-trip ticket vouchers to anywhere in the United States.
Category winners will receive $300, with $200 for second place and $100 for third place. The Best Fascinator category offers a $100 first place prize.
All entrants will receive two free admission passes for a future visit to the track.
The highlight of the 37-day meet is the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Aug. 26. Overall, nearly $7.8 million is available in stakes races.
The Friday concert series will continue this year, beginning with the San Diego-based Wavves this week.
For the most part, racing will take place Wednesday through Sunday, with first post at 2 p.m.
The exceptions are:
-- Fridays, when first post is 4 p.m.;
-- Pacific Classic day, when first post is 1 p.m.; and
-- Labor Day, in which races will take place on a Monday.
The season closes on Sept. 5.