The 2017 Breeders’ Cup Festival kicks off Saturday, Oct. 28 and features a variety of events for fans coming to the San Diego area for the 33rd World Championships on Nov. 3-4 at Del Mar. The festival, organized by the San Diego Tourism Authority, San Diego Sports Alliance, and the Breeders’ Cup Host Committee, showcases the best of San Diego’s local culture, with eclectic events ranging from golf outings to poker tournaments, art walks, concerts, and food festivals.
Here’s a list of 2017 Breeders’ Cup Festival events that still have open attendance as of Oct. 23. Information on festival food events can be found here. Several events have already sold out and are not included on the list below:
- Art of the Horse (ongoing, through Saturday, Nov. 4): the second annual pop-up art exhibition features 20 life-size fiberglass horse statues created by San Diego’s local artists. The statues are displayed in prominent locations throughout San Diego.
- Jake’s 35th Annual Beach Fun Run and Breeders’ Cup Breeze Presented by San Diego Surf Cup (Saturday, Oct. 28): This 3.2-mile beach run over the stretch of sand close to the racetrack opens the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Festival. The run, which begins at 9:30 a.m. local (Pacific) time, concludes with a beach party held at local eatery Jake’s Del Mar featuring live music, Polynesian entertainment, food and beverage offerings, and a raffle drawing benefiting local charities.
- Del Mar Schools Education Foundation Celebrates the Breeders’ Cup (Sunday, Oct. 29): This luncheon held at the Barn at the Beach in Powerhouse Park celebrates the local community. Afterward, there’s an evening reception offering live music, a plated dinner and cash bar.
- Ponies & Poker (Tuesday, Oct. 31 through Thursday, Nov. 2): Ponies & Poker, hosted at Ocean’s Eleven Casino in nearby Oceanside, Calif., brings together amateur and professional poker players to join Thoroughbred racing luminaries, fans, athletes, and celebrities for a Texas Hold ‘Em-style tournament with a $100,000 grand prize.
- Racing Excellence Award Honoring Dick Enberg (Wednesday, Nov. 1): This gala will bring together colleagues and friends of the legendary NBC sportscaster along with area business leaders, sports enthusiasts, and members of the local and national horse racing community. The event will be held at the Fairmont Grand Hotel at 6 p.m. local time and includes a hosted welcome reception. It benefits the Boys & Girls Clubs of San Diego.
- Bing Crosby Fall Meet Opening Day (Wednesday, Nov. 1): Del Mar’s fall meet begins with a Wednesday racecard highlighted by the Let It Ride Stakes. Gates open at 11 a.m. local time and first post is at 12:30 p.m. The opening-day festivities include a Hollywood fashion contest. Del Mar will also have live racing on Thursday, Nov. 2 with the same post time, before the two-day Breeders’ Cup begins on Friday, Nov. 3.
- Rancho Santa Fe Golf Tournament (Thursday, Nov. 2): This tournament held at Rancho Santa Fe Golf and Country Club is sponsored by Sentient Jet (sponsor of the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile) and Callaway Golf.
- La Jolla Art Walk (Friday, Nov. 3): This art tour will be perfect for an early-morning trip prior to the first day of the World Championships. The tour ushers guests through several prominent art galleries in La Jolla, the hilly seaside community south of Del Mar.
- Breeders’ Cup Viewing and After Party (Saturday, Nov. 3): To cap off the Breeders’ Cup Festival, a viewing party for Saturday’s nine World Championships races will take place at the Barn at the Beach in Powerhouse Park.
- Belly-Up Concert (Saturday, Nov. 3): the last of the four Belly-Up concerts at the Solana Beach, Calif., night spot north of the racetrack features 1980s cover band Tainted Love. The Nov. 1 (Bret Michaels), Nov. 2, and Nov. 3 (both B-52s) concerts are sold out.
For more information on all of the above events at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup Festival, visit breederscupfestival.com.