Miss Cougar Del Mar named

(Above) Miss Cougar Finalists (left to right in photo): Mona Smith (San Marcos, Calif.), Laura Keys (San Diego, Jake Hirst (Vancouver, Canada), Meaghan Phillips (Oceanside, Calif.), Winner Debra Olson (Eureka, Calif.). (Right) 2013 Miss Cougar Del Mar: Debra Olson of Eureka, Calif. with Joe Talamo, the winner of the Cougar II Handicap. Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo
(Above) Miss Cougar Finalists (left to right in photo): Mona Smith (San Marcos, Calif.), Laura Keys (San Diego, Jake Hirst (Vancouver, Canada), Meaghan Phillips (Oceanside, Calif.), Winner Debra Olson (Eureka, Calif.). (Right) 2013 Miss Cougar Del Mar: Debra Olson of Eureka, Calif. with Joe Talamo, the winner of the Cougar II Handicap. Photo courtesy of Benoit Photo

The Del Mar racetrack crowned its fifth Miss Cougar Del Mar on July 26: Debra Olson from Eureka, Calif.

Olson was chosen by a panel of judges from five finalists and 12 total nominees. She presented the trophy to Joe Talamo — the winner of the Cougar II Handicap (bottom)  — in the Winner’s Circle. Judges included Marlo Jordan from MissCougarLife.com; Mighty 1090 and U-T TV personality Scott Kaplan; and Billy Koch, general manager of Little Red Feather Racing.

The Miss Cougar Del Mar contest is named for the Cougar II Handicap - Del Mar’s longest stakes race.

Women at least 35 years of age were encouraged to submit their best cougar photo with a one-sentence explanation as to why they should be crowned Miss Cougar Del Mar 2013; third parties were also allowed to nominate their cougar friends.

Online voting determined the five finalists, and a panel of local celebrity judges selected the winner.

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Joe Talamo and Miss Cougar Del Mar: Debra Olson. Benoit Photo
   
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