Del Mar Summer: A Visitor’s Guide to Pacific Classic Week – Horse Racing News

Sunset on Del Mar Beach

There’s still time to plan a trip to Del Mar for the big Labor Day race weekend. In fact, if you fly today, your bags could arrive in time for Saturday’s 1st Year, $1 Million TVG Pacific Classic. On second thought, don’t check in a bag.

According to track founder and inveterate crooner Bing Crosby, you can also take a train or car to where the grass meets the waves. There is also a smile on every face and a winner in every race, but I digress.

Del Mar will race five days this week, from Thursday, September 1 through Monday, September 5 through Labor Day. While the stakes offerings are plentiful – five on Saturday, two on Sunday and two on Monday – the undefeated Flightline’s scheduled appearance in the Pacific Classic stands above all else.

There are so many questions.

– Will Flightline be able to extend its devastating speed around two towers for the first time?

-Can this son of Tapit get the classic American distance of a mile and a quarter?

-Where should I eat and where should I go while I’m in Del Mar?

I can only speculate on the first two questions, but I know Coach John Sadler has the utmost faith in Flightline. The colt has passed all the tests (OK, there have only been four since April 2021), and I haven’t seen anything to suggest the longest distance will be his Achilles heel.

As for the last question, you’ve come to the right place. Here are my recommendations, all within a 15 minute drive from the racecourse:


Ki’s Restaurant, 2591 S. Coast Highway 101, Cardiff, CA 92007. A two-story building on Coast Road serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I’m fond of their breakfasts, including smoothies and juices. Order downstairs, then head upstairs for incredible views of the Pacific.

Claire’s on Cedros, 246 N. Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075. Short walk to Solana Beach train station (you may need to park at this lot if it’s a busy day). Everyone loves Claire’s for breakfast, and there’s a lot to love, including Benedicts. I always prefer their back patio. Tell them Larry Collmus sent you.

Ranch 45 Local Provisions, 512 Via De La Valle, Suite 102, Solana Beach, CA 92075. Ranch 45 is located next to the upscale Pamplemousse Grille restaurant and just east of the Solana Racetrack Gate. Their breakfast bowls are my favorite on a fairly limited menu. Order inside, eat out.


Board & Brew, 1812 Camino Del Mar, Del Mar, CA 92014. You won’t find a better sandwich, in part because everything is fresh. Highly recommend the house specialty, the Turkado (turkey and avocado). Portions are large. If you can’t eat both halves, call me.

The Taco Stand, 642 S. Coast Highway 101, Encinitas, CA 92024. The always-busy local favorite (with multiple locations from San Diego to La Jolla and even Las Vegas) offers handmade corn tortillas and offers a variety of taco options including spicy shrimp, cactus, mushroom and of course fish, beef and chicken. Best to find an ‘off’ hour away from the 12-1pm rush.

Having dinner

Pacific Coast Grill, 2526 S. Coast Highway 101, Cardiff, CA 92007. Seaside dining at its finest, with both indoor and outdoor seating. Moderately priced classic menu, rich in fish options. Shrimp dumplings are a specialty of the appetizer menu. I have never come away disappointed.

Tony’s Jacal, 621 Valley Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075. I’ve sung the praises of the turkey nachos and turkey tacos at this family-run business that opened in 1946, but the more traditional meals are also great. good. Can get very busy and Tony’s Jacal doesn’t take reservations, but the bar menu offers some of the entrees (including nachos and tacos) if you’re in a hurry.

Also valid: Naked Café in Solana Beach for breakfast, Monarch Ocean Pub, Jake’s or Poseidon in Del Mar for a drink or dinner at sunset. Brigantine Seafood & Oyster Bar, overlooking the Del Mar Racetrack, offers the best fish tacos in town.

Activities: Rent an electric bike to go up or down the hill. The San Diego Electric Bike to Solana Beach offers different rental packages. Hike Torrey Pines State Reserve at the Carmel Valley Road entrance (Tip: Park on Carmel Valley Road to avoid the $15 parking fee.) The more adventurous might try hang gliding or paragliding at the Torrey Pines Gliderport in La Jolla.

Remember that the start time is 1:00 PM PT for the remainder of the meet with the Friday 3:00 PM start the only exception.

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