Del Mar Race Track


Del Mar race track is an American Thoroughbred horse racing track at the Del Mar Fairgrounds in the seaside city of Del Mar, California, 20 mi north of San Diego. Del Mar race track has a very popular hat day opening day at the races every year. It’s quite a spectacle as you can see in the video. Bing Crosby is there to greet the first fan through the gate as Del Mar opens. The famous Seabiscuit-Ligaroti match race is held on August 12 and it draws 20,000 to the track and a nationwide radio audience. After a furious duel, Seabiscuit under George (The Iceman) Woolf and 130 pounds beats Ligaroti and Noel (Spec) Richardson at 115 by a nose. Del Mar race track establishes itself as a playground for the stars. If you attend the meet this summer you might find yourself bumping into Dorothy Lamour, W. C. Fields, Paulette Goddard, Edgar Bergen, June Haver, Ann Miller, Don Ameche, Ava Gardner, Red Skelton and, of course, Bing Crosby and Pat O’Brien. Del Mar is ‘dark’ as the U.S. plunges into World War II. Initially, the grounds are used for training by the Marines, then as a manufacturing site for parts to B-17 bombers. The Santa Fe Railroad brings both racehorses and bettors south to Del Mar to do their thing. Cheering the arrival of the “racetrack special” from Los Angeles becomes a popular tradition for the locals. A new crop of Hollywood types makes Del Mar the spot to be for summer frolic. Among the celebs who join in the turf and surf fun this year are Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Betty Grable, George Jessel, Mickey Rooney and Jimmy Durante. Durante becomes such a regular that the track eventually names its turf course in his honor. It’s that Shoemaker fellow again, this time winning a remarkable 94 races during the meet’s 41-day run, a Del Mar standard that may never be topped. Shoe teams up with trainer R. H. (Red) McDaniel that year to nearly breakup the game at the seashore: McDaniel saddles a record 47 winners, giving Shoemaker a leg-up on 42 of them.

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