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Intended to capture the sunset as seen from the paddock at Del Mar Racetrack, “Del Mar Sunset” in front of Cardiff Seaside Market is one of 20 life-sized Torrie horses commissioned as part of the Art of the Horse program for the upcoming Breeders’ Cup. Photo by Bianca Kaplanek
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Weeklong events lead up to Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar

DEL MAR — The Breeders’ Cup may feature only two days of horse racing, but North County is celebrating with a variety of happenings the week before the 34th annual event makes its debut at the Del Mar Racetrack.

Designed to showcase the best of San Diego’s local culture, the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Festival kicks off Oct. 28 with the Jake’s Del Mar 35th Annual Beach Fun Run and Breeders’ Cup Breeze. The 3.2-mile beach race begins at 9:30 a.m. and ends with a party on the sand in front of the oceanfront restaurant. The deadline to enter is Oct. 23.

Barn at the Beach

Not far from the Del Mar Racetrack, on the grass at Powerhouse Park, is a 7,000-square-foot temporary tent, being called the “Barn at the Beach,” that will be home to the following events.

Del Mar Schools Education Foundation Celebration — Oct. 29

A luncheon will feature acts by Del Mar students and an evening reception will include live musical entertainment, a plated dinner and a cash bar.

Rood & Riddle Breeders’ Cup Post-Position Draw — Oct. 30

Attendees at this event, named for the equine hospital in Lexington, Kentucky, will watch as the starting gate positions, or numbers, are determined for each horse in the 13 Breeders’ Cup races.

Bourbon, Blue Grass & Breeders’ Cup — Nov. 1

The Del Mar Foundation will host this community party with live music and bourbon and whiskey tastings.

Best at the Barn — Nov. 2

This upscale tasting event from the Del Mar Village Association will bring together some of the county’s top chefs, specialty cocktails and live entertainment.

Bash at the Beach — Nov. 3

After the first full day of championship races, fans can enjoy a cocktail, take in the sunset, listen to the music of Haute Chile and participate in a live auction of racing memorabilia while raising funds to benefit Thoroughbred Charities of America.

Viewing Party — Nov. 4

Fans can watch the final day of racing. Elsewhere in the beach city, well-known jockeys and racing personalities will craft cocktails during Jocktails at the Breeders’ Cup at Del Mar Plaza on Nov. 1. Proceeds will benefit the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund.

Tournaments are scheduled at Torrey Pines Golf Course an Oct. 31 and Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club on Nov. 2.

Other multiday activities include Ponies & Poker from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2 at Ocean’s Eleven Casino in Oceanside. Amateur and professional poker players will join thoroughbred horseracing luminaries, fans, athletes and celebrities for a Texas Hold ’em-style tournament with a $100,000 prize.

In Solana Beach, Belly Up’s Breeders’ Cup four-day concert series begins Nov. 1 with Bret Michaels onstage.

Thoroughbred racing will take place Nov. 1-2 to mark the start of Del Mar Racetrack’s Bing Crosby fall meet, which resumes after the Breeders’ Cup and continues through Nov. 26.

The Racing Excellence Award will honor sportscaster Dick Enberg on Nov. 1 during a gala to benefit the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Dieguito. Enberg’s colleagues and friends, sports enthusiasts, business leaders and members of the local and national horseracing community will celebrate Del Mar’s inaugural hosting of the Breeders’ Cup at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar.

Tickets for the events are available at

For those who would like to see thoroughbred racing, limited tickets are still available.

General admission in the stretch run/grandstand is available on Nov. 3 only. Visit

Infield general admission tickets for “Taste of the Breeders’ Cup” on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 range from $35 to $80. Go to

Infield dining seats are available in the Pacific Pavilion on Friday only for $100. Visit

Two-day dining seating in the Trackside Chalet and Seabiscuit Sky Room, overlooking the racetrack and Pacific Ocean, are $1,600 at or 

Onsite parking at the racetrack is sold out. Only ticketholders with prepaid parking credentials will be allowed entry. All others will be turned away at the gates and directed to one of three park-and-ride facilities: Del Mar Horse Park, MiraCosta College in Cardiff and Kilroy Realty Parking Garage in San Diego.

The latter two have a handicap accessible lot.

Ticketholders must reserve a complimentary parking pass at before the day of the event. Parking will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Park-and-ride locations open at 8:30 a.m. Friday and 7:30 a.m. Saturday. Shuttles will begin 30 minutes after the opening and run continuously both days, departing approximately every 15 minutes. The last one will leave the track at 7 p.m. both days.

Uber will be set up onsite and have designated entry and exit points off Jimmy Durante Boulevard. Local taxis, cabs and other ride-hailing services will also be able to drop off and pick up guests at the track.

On Nov. 3, gates open at Del Mar at 9 a.m. The first post is 11:25 a.m. Last post is 5:17 p.m. Gates open the following day at 8 a.m. with the first post at 10:10 a.m. and the last at 5:35 p.m.