Tag Archives: Del Mar Racetrack

Opening Day is this Thursday and it promises to be as cool as ever!

Get those hats ready! Opening Day at the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club is this Thursday and it promises to be as cool as ever. The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club will be opening this season with its usual party and hat contest. Be creative and you could win a share of more than $5,000 in total prizes. In addition to the horse races, the Thoroughbred Club hosts a series of Four O’Clock Friday Concerts with amazing bands included in the admission price. Check out the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club calendar to see all the great events happening during the season that runs through Labor day.

Since the races don’t start until the afternoon, why not head to Del Mar early and stop by our office before the races. We are conveniently located at the same exit as the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and would love the opportunity to show you properties near the races – perhaps a condo with a racetrack view in Solana Beach, a house on the beach in Del Mar or a property for your own horses in Rancho Santa Fe. Whatever your real estate needs are in Coastal North San Diego County, we are here to help!

Governor’s Sale of the Del Mar Fairground and Racetrack Averted

Faced with the worst budget crisis in California history, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed selling high forsaleprofile state properties, including our very own Del Mar Fairgrounds and racetrack.  The Governor’s original proposal would have sold the entire 400 acre property, valued at between $400 to $700 million.

Fortunately, since the Governor’s proposal was unveiled in May of this year, there were no buyers lined up to purchase the famous place where the turf meets the surf.  Other State properties including San Quentin State Prison were also proposed for sale and apparently did receive some interest from potential buyers.  To each his own…

In June, follow-up staff studies in Sacramento found that the racetrack portion of the Del Mar property was the actual profit generator of the property.  With this in mind, the Governor’s real estate managers suggested splitting the property and selling the track separately – a move they hoped would make this already prime coastal property even more attractive. 

Courtesy Ewen and Donabel, Flickr

Courtesy Ewen and Donabel, Flickr

Meanwhile, local state legislators and coastal city government expressed their concerns over selling this historic property where so many county activities take place.  There was also virtually no San Diego support for the sale.  Located in an environmentally sensitive area, one that we locals are proud and protective of, the site is too fragile to allow distant politicians control over.  The loss of the Del Mar racetrack and/or fairgrounds would have had devastating effects for the Del Mar and coastal economy as well as the lifestyles of all San Diego County residents. 

Luckily, when the State Budget was revealed in July, the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack were no longer part of the state sell-off.  Apparently, San Quentin also avoided the auction block.  Other state properties such as the Orange County Fairgrounds and several state buildings are slated to be sold…

Although no one knows what the future will bring, it is good to know that the Governor and the State Legislature acted with the public interest in mind this time!  However, even though the adopted budget did not include these extreme actions this time, the Governor continues to stand by his idea to sell the valuable state properties.  The folks up in Sacramento, including the Governor, need to remember that decisions regarding the prize possessions of the citizens of this state should not be made without the input of those citizens. 

Let’s make sure our voices are heard loud and clear should this ill-conceived plan rear its ugly head again.  Meanwhile, enjoy those hot cinnamon rolls and pick a winner at the track!  See you next summer at the San Diego County Fair and the next racing season at our Del Mar Race Track!

Del Mar Racing Season’s Drawing to a Close, but the Fun Continues!

If you live or have spent any time at all in San Diego County, chances are you’ve at least heard of the Del Mar Fairgrounds if not visited a few times.  Located 20 miles north of downtown San Diego in beautiful Del Mar, this historic facility is home to fun activities all year long. 

Del Mar Racetrack

A Brief History of the Del Mar Fairgrounds

San Diego residents have been participating in “County Fairs” since 1880.  Early fairs were agricultural gatherings but included such fun activities as horse racing and pie contests.  The location of these annual celebrations moved from place to place yearly which lead to struggles for the sponsors.

In 1936, the 22nd District Agricultural Association bought land at the mouth of the San Dieguito River for a new San Diego County Fairgrounds to help promote successful venues.  Thus was the beginning of the San Diego County Fair. The Fair was renamed the Del Mar Fair decades ago, and, while it returned to its original name in 2002, locals still refer to it as the Del Mar Fair.

Today’s fair offers displays of everything from livestock to fine jewelry.  Of course, now there are the wild rides and quality concerts to draw just about every type of person who lives in Southern California. This year, even in a severe recession, a record 1,274,442 people visited the Del Mar CA fair making it not only one of the biggest in the nation but arguably one of the best!

 

Here Come the Ponies!

Courtesy Ewen and Donabel, Flickr

Courtesy Ewen and Donabel, Flickr

The Thoroughbred Club was later established in 1937 by major motion picture personalities  Bing Crosby and Pat O’Brien with corporate  support by Paramount Studios.  Crosby was at the gate on that first opening day to personally greet the fans.  In 1938 Seabiscuit ran a historic race that was the first nationally broadcast on the radio right here in Del Mar CA.  Early purses ran as high as $25,000.  Today, the Pacific Classic pays a solid $1,000,000 to the owner of the winning horse.  Traditions, such as “Hat Day” on opening day, prevail today much as they did during the Hollywood era in the 1940s.  Del Mar racing season runs from mid July to mid September annually.  And, after 7 weeks of excitement, the 2009 season will be drawing to a close tomorrow, with “Free and Easy Wednesday” on September 9th.

Fans can continue to bet on the ponies after the Del Mar race season closes in mid September at the Surfside Race Place.

What’s Happening at the Fairgrounds and Track Now

Today’s Del Mar Fairgrounds and Race Track are home to numerous events throughout the year, most of them family oriented.  From bazaars to home expos to gun shows, you will find it at the fairgrounds.
The more prominent events are:

• The Del Mar National Horse Show in April
• The Del Mar Fair in June and July
• The Del Mar Races in July, August and September
• The Scream Zone in October
• The Holiday of Lights in December

There are many other fun and exciting events such as the San Diego Home and Garden Show and the Crossroads of the West Gun Show. No matter what your taste, you will find year round fun and entertainment at the Del Mar Fairgrounds and Racetrack!

Del Mar’s San Dieguito Lagoon Now Thriving!

Anyone visiting the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds this past summer may have noticed a lot of activity going on at the San Dieguito Lagoon, just to the south.  Bulldozers and earth movers have been up to something – but have no fear, it isn’t another development.  To the contrary!  After nearly 2 decades of planning, negotiation, securing permits, and collaboration between private and governmental parties, a plan to restore the lagoon is finally under full sway.

Del Mar Racetrack and San Dieguito Lagoon

Del Mar Racetrack and San Dieguito Lagoon

The project is being funded by Southern California Edison as part of a mitigation arrangement for damage done by the San Onofre Power Station. It includes opening up the plugged waterway to allow for flushing of the lagoon’s stagnant waters, creation of new tidal and intertidal habitats, and establishment of new nesting sites for numerous endangered species of birds. Fortunately, we lucky enough to live in Del Marand those enjoying a visit here are the beneficiaries. Already, we are seeing a major increase in the numbers and variety of wild and plant life. The lagoon is thriving!

Del Mar Lagoon

Del Mar Lagoon

By the way, if your looking for a lovely Del Mar home overlooking the flourishing lagoon and just a stone’s throw from the racetrack, give me a call (760-815-1318).  I have the perfect home for you!