On the eve of Opening Day - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

On the eve of Opening Day

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DEL MAR (CBS 8) - Even on a languid Del Mar summer day, the anticipation is palpable. The backstretch is a flurry of activity, all in preparation for racing season.

Wes Champaign is fitting three-year-old Stoney Fleece with a new pair of running shoes.

"This horse runs Opening Day, tomorrow in the Oceanside Stakes," Wes said.

While studs are sudsed and fillies put on the feed, trainer Bill Spawr is happy to be here.

"It's our most relaxing time. We look forward to it, the ocean, the breeze," Bill said.

Out on the track under the watchful eyes of trainers, owners and clockers, the stars of the show were on parade. For some, it was just a gallop or job. Other put pedal to the medal, a final prep before it counts. Most horses seemed to thrive in the Del Mar vibe. However, there were a few malcontents. Headstrong horses can be a handful. Among the beasts there is a beauty -- actress, model and jockey Chantal Sutherland.

"Del Mar's the best. I mean, I couldn't wait to get here," she said.

Just over a week ago, Chantal became the first female jockey ever to win to Hollywood Gold Cub aboard Game On Dude.

"I'm really grateful for all the wonderful success I'm having," Chantal said.

On the eve of Opening Day, anything is possible and everything is probable. This uniquely Southern California festival will provide thrills and chills, heartbreaks and high stakes. Even on a laid back summer day in Del Mar, the overwhelming attitude here is "Let's get it on."

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