Gary Stevens

Opening Day at Del Mar kicks off the racing season in style July 18

Opening Day at Del Mar kicks off the racing season in style July 18

It’s time to find a fabulous hat and get ready for The Party.

July 18 is Opening Day at Del Mar, one of the major events on the San Diego social calendar. The scene is jubilant and colorful, filled with over-the-top headgear, fashionable wardrobes, bright jockey silks and gleaming horses.

Traditionally, Opening Day draws a large crowd, although last year was the smallest since 2001, at just over 34,000. Chris Bahr, director of events and promotions, noted that the number was “comfortable,” which allowed for service in a reasonable time and plenty of elbow room.

“We expect (Opening Day this year) to be as festive as ever, with skydivers and a lot of celebrities,” Bahr...

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