The big hats, flashy dresses and lots of traffic on the 5 freeway near Del Mar, it can only mean opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack.
The 76th season got underway Thursday.
“We are always hoping for a record, typically we get around 40,000 people on opening day. It’s one of the biggest days we have,” said Racetrack President Joe Harper.
It’s not just the start of a new season but opening day meant the debut of Del Mar’s new dirt track which replaces the synthetic turf.
“We took out the synthetic track, put in good old fashioned dirt for safety reasons. Now the circuit in So Cal is all dirt, you don’t want to have a different type where horses come off one, go on another, that’s not safe.”