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Del Mar’s Summer Racing Season is Back “Where the Turf Meets the Surf”


When Del Mar opens its gates on Wednesday, July 18 summer is officially on in San Diego. The famous seaside racetrack summer season kicks off as well as lively entertainment and exciting craft food and beer festivals running through Labor Day Monday, September 3.

Known as one of the most fabulous, fashionable and fun festivities in the west, Opening Day at Del Mar, presented by BMW, has been a long-standing summer tradition in San Diego. The day will attract fashion-forward trendsetters strutting their finest outfits and, of course, their most extravagant hats for the Opening Day Hats Contest that will turn heads as fans compete for more than $5,000 in total prizes.

The excitement will continue throughout the season with free concerts featuring top entertainers, festivals presenting locally crafted cuisine and award-winning beers, along with high-stakes races showcasing many of the nation’s leading Thoroughbreds, trainers, and jockeys. With something new every week, spending a sunny summer afternoon at Del Mar is always a sure bet. 

This year, Del Mar’s Summer Concert Series will present more free concerts than ever! Every Friday night and almost every Saturday night there will be live acts ranging from reggae to rock to Indie to hip-hop. All performances will take place in the seaside concert area, located at the west end of the grandstand. Performances begin shortly after the last race of the day.

The 2018 lineup includes:
Friday, July 20: Psychedelic Furs
Saturday, July 21: Iration
Friday, July 27: Steel Pulse
Friday, August 3: Matisyahu
Friday, August 10: Aloe Blacc
Saturday, August 11: Reggae Fest with Ziggy Marley
Friday, August 17: Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Friday, August 24: Tribal Seeds
Friday, August 31: Café Tacvba
Sunday, September 2: Ice Cube**Additional acts and dates to be announced.

All concerts are 18 and up and free with the purchase of standard $6 racetrack admission. Friday concerts are presented by Toyota. Returning this summer is the opportunity for concertgoers to upgrade their concert experience in the South Terrace, a premium view and VIP section. For just $50, this exclusive ticket includes an enhanced view with seating, private restrooms and the private cash bar.

Guests should be sure to arrive in advance of all Friday concerts to enjoy Party in the Plaza with beer specials, interactive stations and music by Saint Archer. A solid Friday at the track wouldn’t be complete without a killer happy hour, so Del Mar has fans covered with Friday Happy Hour when all signature drinks are half-off from gate opening until 6 p.m. every Friday throughout the season.

Summer racing at Del Mar takes place Wednesday through Sunday with the one exception of Closing Day on Labor Day Monday (9/3). First post daily will be at 2 p.m. First post on Friday’s will be 4 p.m. with the exceptions of August 24 and August 31 when the first post shifts to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 858.755.1141 or visit You can follow Del Mar on Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat at @DelMarRacing or like us on Facebook at               

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