There are special places and then…there is Del Mar.

All sports have venues that seem to echo greatness and the Seaside Oval in Southern California is that donkey for sure. Way back in 1937, entertaining icon Bing Crosby had a vision, and as the 84th summer meet prepares to open that old crooner has to be smiling ear to ear. Featuring some 39-stakes races old Del Mar will once again attract some of the best Thoroughbreds in the game.

So what’s the big deal about this 340-acre spread located 20 miles north of San Diego? Is it the cool and tasty air flowing off the Pacific Ocean, which is only a good chipshot away? Perhaps it is the hall of Pacific Classic Champions featuring paintings of each located beneath the grandstand? Is it the sun-drenched paddock that has seen many a mega-star prance to greatness? Maybe it is the unbelievable competition that takes place where the turf meets the surf? Could it be all the wonderful people that enjoy hanging at this playground for the stars?

“Del Mar is my favorite race track in America bar none”, says Peter Miller, who has won multiple training titles at Del Mar. “I was raised at Del Mar. It has the turf, it has the surf, and it has the beautiful people. Some people’s happy place is Disneyland, mine is Del Mar.”

Del Mar is a place where descriptive terms cannot do justice. To summarize, we spin off an old Hank Jr. tune…If heaven ain’t a lot like Del Mar, I don’t want to go.