A community festival to celebrate the Del Mar Race Track’s first $1-million race, the Pacific Classic, begins Monday and runs through Aug. 11.
Designed to rival Derby Days in Kentucky, the Pacific Classic, will include a charity art auction, specially created gourmet treats, a walk for animals and golf tournament.
More than 35 restaurants--including Il Fornaio, Tony’s Jacal, Carlos & Annie’s, Red Tracton’s and Epazote--have created dishes in honor of the event. The Del Margarita, a special margarita concocted by Premier Foods, has been named the official drink of the Pacific Classic, just as the Mint Julep is the signature beverage of the Kentucky Derby.
The Pacific Classic Race Day will be Aug. 10, with a post time of 1 p.m. The $1-million guaranteed purse is the most lucrative prize ever offered at Del Mar.
The events and race are being presented by the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club.
Activities surrounding the race include:
* A free concert by the Big Band Jazz Machine at 7 p.m. Monday at Powerhouse Park in Del Mar.
* The Pacific Classic Golf Tourney, an event to raise funds for retired and disabled jockeys and track workers, from noon to 4 p.m. Tuesday. The tournament at The Farms at Rancho Santa Fe is to be emceed by comedian Tim Conway.
* A Lights Out jazz concert from 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday on the Del Mar Race Track.
* Men’s and women’s volleyball demonstrations between races Aug. 8, 9 and 10.
* Beginning at 8 a.m. Aug. 11, a walk to benefit the Helen Woodward Animal Center, starting from the east parking lot at the race track. The walk will follow a route to the ocean and back. Sponsor sheets can be picked up at the animal center. For information, call 756-4117.
Racing at the Del Mar Race Track is at 2 p.m. daily except Tuesdays. General admission is $2.50, reserved seating is $3.50.