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“Where the Turf Meets the Surf” entered horseracing lore after the 22nd District Agriculture Association (DAA) established a 241-acre fairground at Del Mar that included a stadium and one-mile oval racetrack in the 1930s. The venue gave an enterprising trio the impetus to bring thoroughbred racing to the San Diego County coast. The Del Mar Turf Club was led by Harry Lillis “Bing” Crosby, Pat O’Brien, and Bill Quigley. A DAA contract to hold a 55-day annual racing season was secured, and on opening day, July 3, 1937, the velvet-voiced “Der Bingle” greeted the first patrons at the gate. Racing established the Del Mar name beyond California, but it was suspended in 1942 for World War II. The Marines moved in and the Del Mar Turf Club Aircraft Division formed to manufacture wing ribs for B-17s. Racing reopened in 1945 to continued success under the direction of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club president Joe Harper.
|Publisher:||Arcadia Publishing SC|
|Series:||Images of Sports Series|
|Product dimensions:||6.50(w) x 9.25(h) x 0.31(d)|
About the Author
Author Kenneth M. Holtzclaw is a retired research associate at the University of California, Riverside. He has assembled this exploration of the racetrack’s past using vintage photographs from the archives of the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and former thoroughbred owners Mr. and Mrs. Chase McCoy.