Allison Karlstrand © Benoit Photo
The 25th annual Opening Day Hats Contest at Del Mar drew more than 300 contestants. Categories included Most Glamorous, Best Fascinator, Best Flowers, Best Racing Theme and Most Outrageous. Contestants competed for more than $6,000 in cash and prizes.
The Grand Prize winner was Allison Karlstrand of Capistrano Beach who competed in the Best Flowers category. Karlstrand was awarded a Fairmont Grand Del Mar one-night stay and dinner for two at Addison Restaurant, featuring Chef William Bradley's multi-course tasting menu with wine pairings, a $300 cash prize, two tickets to the official Opening Day After Pony Party at Rancho Valencia Resort and Spa and Studio Savvy Salon Gift Basket of $500, for a grand total of more than $2,000 in prizes.
Karlstrand wowed the crowd with modern sophistication wearing a single oversized white bloom designed by Arturo Rios.
Paige Fohl of San Juan Capistrano won the category of Best Fascinator tickled our fancy with a playful pink flamingo perched atop her head with a hot pink bedazzled dress to match. Belinda Barry of Walnut Creek won the category of Most Outrageous in her unique creation titled thinking outside the box with exquisite bobbles and plumes. Aubrey Fohl of San Juan Captistrano won the category of Most Glamorous in sheer modern elegance in her golden laurel leaf fascinator with impeccable style that was truly on point. Christina Stutz of San Diego won the category of Best Racing Theme and impressed seasoned track-goers in-the-know with this nod to the old Don Diego clock tower, and the mosaic clock works!
From left to right: Most Outrageous contestants Shivan Brean and Belinda Barry, Best Flowers Lauren Donahue and Allison Karlstrand, Most Glamorous Andrea Elam and Aubrey Fohl, Best Fascinator Paige Fohl and Lauren Jenkins, Best Racing Theme Leslie Monroey and Christina Stutz