New Del Mar: The Bing Crosby Season

An inaugural shorter second season takes stride at the track, in November.

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AUTUMN EXCITEMENT: Any horsey establishment that's been around for more than a few decades likely has a few starry stories attached to it, whether the stories hail from famous owners or famous fans or a legendary pony that ran at the track. But few spots can match the wattage of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, which was a special favorite of the Hollywood set back in the late 1930s. Bing Crosby met attendees on opening day in 1937, and the crooner's name has been associated with the ocean-close track ever since. Now the club pays homage to Mr. Crosby, and its Tinseltown beginnings, with the first-ever Bing Crosby Season. It's a shorter season than the one that runs in the summertime, just over two weeks all told, and it was launched "to showcase the track's Hollywood roots." Expect some 15 racing days in all, and that includes Thanksgiving Day. Weren't you looking for something to do before the turkey finished roasting? Cheering for the ponies may be just the ticket.

NOV. 7-30: The kick-off falls on the first Friday in November, and the focus is on turf racing. The $250,000 Hollywood Turf Cup will be presented during the Fall Meet, and there are a number of stakes with entertainment monikers (Bob Hope, Betty Grable, and Desi Arnaz are three performers who get the shout-out). The racing is centered around the weekends, Fridays to Sundays then Thursdays to Sundays.

AS FOR... the summertime Del Mar action, which'll soon mark its eighth decade? That's more than a half year away -- opening day falls in the third week of July -- but figure you have to start constructing your opening day hat now. It may take several months to outdo the toppers that made an appearance at the 2014 Del Mar debut.

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