Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack

Opening Day at the Del Mar Racetrack was surely a sight to see! It was my first time going and boy, was it an experience. My day started early – we had a live interview with San Diego’s U-T TV along with Julie Sarno, the head of the Hat Contest.

Kimi Sakamoto, Julie Sarno and Bernadette Ramirez on Opening Day

Kimi Sakamoto (Social Marketing Coordinator of the Village Hat Shop), Julie Sarno (Head of  The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest) and Bernadette Ramirez (Assistant Merchandise Manager at the Village Hat Shop).

After our interviews we had lots of time to explore, and that we did! It was nice not having to weave in and out of the crowds of people. First we walked to the Winner’s Circle and saw some of the horses going for an early morning stroll.┬áThen we ventured over to the main racetrack and watched some horses warm up.

Morning Stroll

After taking in the horses, we started to feel a little lucky. So we investigated the betting machines and an older gentleman, Vince Eustacio, came up to us and started telling us stories of winning BIG! This got us excited and he showed us the ropes of betting on horses. Unfortunately we didn’t come out BIG winners, but it was still a lot of fun!

Betting

After placing bets, the hats started to roll in by the thousands! From crazy handmade hats, to wide brim sun hats, to even the Kate Middleton inspired fascinators – we saw it ALL!

Opening Day Hats

Our very own, Susan Lee – head buyer for the Village Hat Shop, was one of the judges at The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest.

Finalist of the One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest show off their hats during

Finalist of The One and Only Truly Fabulous Hats Contest showing off their hats during Opening Day at Del Mar!

To top it all off, hats from our stores made it on the front cover of San Diego’s local newspaper, the Union Tribune.

Karen Smith, left, and Valerie Dunwoody, both of Sacramento cheer on their horse in the seventh race at Del Mar.

Karen Smith in a Something Special Big Boater Hat, left, and Valerie Dunwoody in the Cassandra by Arturo Rios, both of Sacramento cheer on their horse in the seventh race at Del Mar.

All in all, Opening Day was quite an experience. Hats, partying and the chance to win some cash – what more could you ask for?