Opening Day at the Races
We hope that you have a great Opening Day at the Del Mar Race Track. Did you know?
- The racetrack opened on July 3, 1937 and Bing Crosby was there to greet the first patron.
- Before the construction of the Del Mar Racetrack, Southern Californians traveled to the Agua Caliente racetrack in Tijuana, Mexico, for drinking, gambling, etc.
- In 1942-1944, Del Mar Race Track was shutdown as the U.S. plunged into World War II. The grounds were used for Marine training and then as a manufacturing site for parts to B-17 bombers.
- On May 6, 1936, William A. Quigley and Bing Crosby filed for articles of incorporation with the California Secretary of State and founded the Del Mar Turf Club.
- In 2006, Del Mar installed polytrack, a synthetic material used in place of natural dirt on the tracks, which gives the horses a firmer footing than dirt and is considered safer for horses and riders.
- In 2010, California State Senator Christine Kehoe proposed selling the 400-acre site to the City of Del Mar and private investors for $120 million. However, the sale proposal expired as Governor Brown stated, “now is not a good time to sell real estate.”
Opening Day at Del Mar is certainly an institution and broken attendance records most every year. Joe Harper former President of the Del Mar Thorough Bred Club states “[w]e’ve always looked at this place as being in the entertainment business.” This view of the Race Track is what has sustained it through the years and economic depressions.
Furthermore, the Race Track has kept people coming even in tough times through clever marketing. Even when there was a recession the President of the Thoroughbred club, reacted to the recession of 2007 through 2010 by creating “Free and Easy Wednesday,” In 2010, over 20,000 fans signed up for the program.
It is clear that the Del Mar Race Track has an interesting history and is here to stay.