Del Mar’s racing season kicked off in style once again with one of the area’s biggest social events, Opening Day on July 17. It’s a feast for the eyes, from the colorful parade of fancy hats and jockey silks, to celebrity sightings. Not to mention parties that took place everywhere, on and off the track, all day long and well into the evening.
The centerpiece of the seaside oval’s celebration was the Opening Day Hats Contest, now in its 20th year. Officially established in 1995 by Julie Sarno as “The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest,” it brings out the most serious of hat aficionados, who spend months perfecting their headgear for prestige and prizes.
This year’s categories were Best Racing Theme, Funniest/Most Outrageous, Most Glamorous, Best Flowers/All Others and Best Fascinator. Photos by Jon Clark.