The following article contains many phrasal verbs. They are in bold. Do you know what each of these phrasal verbs means? Check out the definitions at the end of this article!

Bust out your fancy clothes and dust off your best hat: the Del Mar race season is underway!delmar3

On July 17th, the Del Mar Racetrack kicked off its racing season, which will last until August. Thousands came out for the first race–known as Opening Day–and showed off their best racetrack attire.

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What does one wear to a horse race? A hat, of course! When it comes to horse races and hats, the bigger and the crazier, the better! In addition to wearing a crazy hat, racetrack-lovers also dress up in their best summer clothes. It is quite the fashion show!

What does one do at the races? Apart from the obvious activities (watching the beautiful horses race, and betting on which horse will be the winner), the Del Mar Fairgrounds also offers several restaurants and bars. It is a great place to grab a snack or something to sip on in between races.

The Del Mar Races and its Opening Day have been traditions in San Diego since 1937, when a famous singer named Bing Crosby and his friends funded the racetrack. Mr. Crosby personally greeted the first crowd over 70 years ago, and even wrote a song about the racetrack. In the song, Crosby made up the expression “Where the turf meets the surf,” which has become a famous saying. (“Turf” means “grass,” which stands for the grass around the racetrack, and “surf” symbolizes the ocean, which is visible from the fairgrounds.) You can listen to Crosby’s famous song here.

Bing Crosby, left, at the Del Mar races.

Opening Day for 2013 has come and gone, but the races will continue until September 4. The races are a great experience for CISL students who are studying English in San Diego! In addition to the races, visitors can hit up Del Mar’s Summer Concert Series, which is a free concert after the races. Bands include Weezer and reggae concert with Bob Marley’s son, Ziggy.


Del Mar is located on the Pacific Coast just north of La Jolla. Getting there using public transport is surprisingly simple: Amtrak drops off in Solana Beach and then a bus is provided to the track. For more information, visit the races transportation page. In addition, the Pony Express, a special train that runs only during racing season, is open through the Coaster (San Diego’s North County train service).

Admission to the races is just $6 for general admission and $10 for Clubhouse seats (which have a better view). For more information about the races, the concert schedule, or buying tickets in advance, visit the racetrack website.


Phrasal Verbs used in this article

Bust out

Bring out (slang)

Dust off

Remove the dust from something that has been stored for a while

Kick off


Show off

Proudly show

Make up


Stand for


Hit up

Go to

Drop off

The end of the trip; the opposite of pick up


All photos are from the Del Mar Races Facebook page.