Horse racing is the historical and time-honored sport of Kings, Queens, Presidents and even Dictators. While in San Diego, why not spend a day at one of the best race tracks in the country, Del Mar Racetrack?
The famous crooner, Bing Crosby, actor Pat O'Brien and the very funny, Jimmy Durante found the perfect plot of land near the Pacific Ocean in Del Mar for their racetrack. The next year, 1938, Seabiscuit--did you see the movie?--won by a nose, against a horse called Ligaroti. In the 1950's, Bill Shoemaker won record-numbers of races--one time it was 94 races he won in 41 days--and this track holds some of the most prestigious stakes events in California racing.
The track was closed during WWII, however, by 1989 Del Mar became the leading track in the country. In recent years it has gone through a restoration that has accentuated the beautiful Spanish style architecture of the buildings and added glorious landscaping.
In short, Del Mar Racetrack is one of the best in the United States and it is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. It has two tracks and the season usually runs from July--just after the Del Mar Fair--until September. Opening day of the season has the added enchantment of race goers wearing competitively fantastic hats.
Betting on the horses is not a requirement, but it's fun to put a bit on and take your chances.
Admission only: Stretch Run $6.00, Clubhouse $10.00 without a seat and goes up from there and there is a fee for parking in the lot, they offer valet service, which costs a bit more. Make sure you pay the extra charge for a seat unless you want to spend the whole time standing.