Things were buzzing all around Del Mar Racetrack today as the facility was being readied for opening day Wednesday. The place looks like a picture postcard, with colorful flowers everywhere and palm trees glistening under sparkling blue skies. I visited the paddock and walking ring to watch the early schoolers, and even the horses seemed to sense the excitement of a new meet about to begin.
Highlights of the 2009 Season include:
- Opening Day Hat Contest Wednesday. A Del Mar tradition that adds color and glamour to the opening day scene, contestants are judged on creativity and style in four categories: Best Racing Theme, Funniest or Most Outrageous, Most Glamorous, and Best Flowers/All Others.
- Doug O'Neill, who will be seeking his fourth Del Mar training title in six years, has entered three 3-year-olds in the opening-day feature, the Oceanside Stakes -- Flashmans Papers, Mark S the Cooler, and Azul Leon.
- Joel Rosario, who just posted his first riding title with 79 victories at the Hollywood Park Spring-Summer meet, will make Del Mar his summer base. He is one of three of the top five riders by purse money won in the country who will be based at the seaside track, including Rafael Bejarano and Garrett Gomez.
- Del Mar President and CEO, Joe Harper, has joined the blogosphere! This should be good. Check it out at Joe Harper's Blog.
Here's wishing a lucky racing season to Del Mar fans wherever you are!