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Know Before You Go: TVG Pacific Classic

Courtesy of Penelope Miller of America's Best Racing

The TVG Pacific Classic is the West Coast's biggest race of the summer. If you're planning to head to beautiful Del Mar this weekend for some action-packed elite racing, we have ten things you need to know before you go. 

1. The winner of the race gets a free berth to the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

Winning the Pacific Classic is a dream come true for any horse owner, trainer, or jockey; but a victory in Del Mar’s biggest race comes with an extra bonus: a free ride to the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic on Nov. 3. With so much on the line, you can plan on seeing some of horse racing’s biggest names at Del Mar on Saturday. 

2. You’re invited to capture the Classic.

The horses aren’t the only winners at the Pacific Classic: enter Capture the Classic, the free-to-play fantasy Breeders’ Cup game, and start your virtual stable for your chance to win $100,000 or a whole lot of other fantastic prizes.

3. Know Del Mar’s theme song.

The Del Mar Thoroughbred Club was founded by Hollywood legend Bing Crosby, and he even penned a song to celebrate the stunning San Diego track. The song is still played every single day of racing there – especially on Pacific Classic day! – and Del Mar even has celebrities come out to perform the jingle for the crowds. You should definitely sing along with “Where the Turf Meets the Surf,” so learn the lyrics here, and the tune here.

4. The song gives really good advice.

Some of the lyrics to “Where the Turf Meets the Surf” are, “Take a train, take a plane, take a car.” Not much has changed since Bing penned those words, and you can still hop an Amtrak, drive, or take an easy flight to San Diego and drive to the races. There are plenty of options for getting to the Pacific Classic, so choose the one that works for you!

5. You can get the perfect hat right at the track.

Pacific Classic is all about that old-school Hollywood glamour, so it’s the perfect time to don that fedora or fascinator to feel your best for Del Mar’s biggest race. If you don’t have the time to score the perfect topper before the Pacific Classic, find Christine A. Moore at the track on Saturday: the official milliner of the Breeders’ Cup and Triple Crown will be at Del Mar all day to help you finish off your Pacific Classic look in perfect racing style.  

6. Take some time to explore the area.

Del Mar is a small ocean hamlet surrounded by some amazing attractions. From surfing lessons on the beach to Torrey Pines State Reserve, LEGOLAND in San Diego, the famous San Diego Zoo, there’s so much to do while you’re in town.

7. Catch the concert.

Del Mar has amazing concerts this year, and Friday night features Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats. If you can’t get enough live music after the races, be sure to check out Del Mar’s full schedule for the remainder of the racing season.

8. Get crafty.

What goes better with a classic day of racing than an ice-cold beer? While you’re at Del Mar, be sure to swing by the craft beer festival to taste some local and international brews and play the ponies. Tickets are still on sale, so be sure to get yours early!

9. Stay an extra day, because there’s going to be barbecue.

Don’t leave Del Mar too early, because Sunday, Aug. 19 is the Turf & Surf BBQ Championship. With more than 30 pitmasters competing at the track, Del Mar is the ultimate #SundayFunday destination this week.

10.  There’s so much good racing on Saturday.

Of course you know that the Pacific Classic is on Saturday, but be sure to watch the other great races on the program: the afternoon also includes the Del Mar Oaks for 3-year-old fillies, and the Del Mar Handicap for horses three years old and up, which is a “Win and You’re In” race for the Longines Breeders’ Cup Turf. Get to the track early to plan on a fantastic day of sport in one of the most beautiful settings on Earth! 

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