DEL MAR (CNS) - And they're off!
Opening day of the 75th season of horse racing at the Del Mar Racetrack, "where the turf meets the surf," was highlighted Wednesday by the annual hat contest and $100,000 Oceanside Stakes for 3-year-olds.
The "One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest" included Best Racing Theme, Funniest or Most Outrageous, Most Glamorous, Best Flowers and Best Fascinator, which is a type of headpiece or hair accessory.
The grand prize was two American Airlines round-trip ticket vouchers to anywhere in the United States, while category winners received $300, with $200 for second place and $100 for third place. The Best Fascinator category offered a $100 first place prize.
Entrants to the hat contest also received two free admission passes for a future visit to the track.
The highlight of the 37-day meet is the $1 million TVG Pacific Classic on Aug. 26. Overall, nearly $7.8 million is available in stakes races.
The Friday concert series will continue this year, beginning with the San Diego-based Wavves this week.
For the most part, racing will take place Wednesday through Sunday, with first post at 2 p.m.
The exceptions are:
-- Fridays, when first post is 4 p.m.;
-- Pacific Classic day, when first post is 1 p.m.; and
-- Labor Day, in which races will take place on a Monday.
The season closes on Sept. 5.