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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 | Since 1937, the Del Mar Race Track has come in first on the “must do” list for both San Diegans and visitors. Each summer, “The Sport of Kings” draws a mixture of celebrities, local glitterati and regular folk.

From the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club to the “In Field,” the races are always a fun time. Where else can you run into Bo Derek, Jimmy Durante’s widow Marge, comedians Tim Conway and Harvey Corman all on the same day? Mix in a scene of who’s who, from famed horse trainer Neil Drysdale to a smorgasbord of well-dressed and chapeaux’d gents and ladies, and you’ve got yourself quite the fun occasion.

As you walk through the gates, memories swirl of W.C. Fields, Ava Gardner, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. Jockey legends Bill Shoemaker and John Longden rode and won. Big name horses Best Pal, Victory Gallop, Dare and Go, General Challenge and Skimmer, ran and won big. Really big money. Crowds cheered. Winning bets were cashed in … and as yet another season unfolds, look for more history. More thrills, a few spills but always a great time.

For more information on the races, please visit www.dmtc.com. See you July 20 for Opening Day at the Races.

Singer Frankie Valli Revs up Humphrey’s with Broadway-Bound Stars from the “Jersey Boys”

San Diego just can’t get enough of those “Jersey Boys.” Main man and super star Frankie Valli was joined by the core group from La Jolla Playhouse’s musical hit play and Broadway-bound “Jersey Boys.”

“Jersey Boys,” as you know, is the stellar musical based on the life of legendary singer Frankie Valli and his “Four Seasons.” For this evening, it was the original “Jersey Boys” cast members Christian Hoff as Tommy DeVito, Daniel Reichard as Bob Gaudio, J. Robert Spencer as Nick Massi, and John Lloyd Young taking over as Frankie Valli.

Greeted by thunderous applause, Frankie and his boys got San Diegans revved up on July 11 at Humphrey’s. The evening benefited La Jolla Playhouse’s New Play Development and Education programs.

Frankie jokingly dedicated his hit “Silence is Golden,” “to all of the people out there in the witness protection program.” He also disclosed special thanks to his mother, who fortuitously took him to his very first concert at a very young age. The singer was another Frank of note – Frank Sinatra.

Among those there enjoying an incredible evening were Tony Award winner and “Jersey Boys” director Des McAnuff. Also there were Stuart Morris, whose family owns the Kansas City BBQ Restaurants; Dianne and Dr. Mitch Goldman; Scott Johnston; Pam and Lou Scanlon; Joan and Irwin Jacobs; Colette and Ivor Royston; and Lynelle Berkey.

More there supporting the La Jolla Playhouse were Rusti Bartell Weiss (her family owns Humphrey’s); Melissa and Michael Bartell; Lee and Jerry Pikolysky; Susan Ulevitch; author Ruth Jacobowitz and her husband Paul; and Lorna and Chris McKellar.

Just last weekend, Lorna and her husband Chris hosted most of the McKellar family for a “Great Gatsby”-themed birthday for their family patriarch Jim McKellar. The birthday boy Jim turned a young 80-something with girlfriend Mona Steen and family at his side. Guests enjoyed an all-white Gatsby-theme with a sit-down dinner catered by TK&A, and later family entertainment into the early a.m.

Judge Whitney’s Son Spencer Celebrated

More Judges seen around town were Judge Richard Whitney celebrating his son Spencer’s imminent Marine-bound career. Family joining in the seaside BBQ in La Jolla included Spencer’s mother Michelle and Spencer’s uncle, Dr. Charlie Whitney. Guests there included Claree and Dr. Howard Doty.

More News to Celebrate

San Diegan Jim MacLaren will be honored with the prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award this Sunday on ESPN’s ESPY Awards. Jim, who has survived two life-threatening accidents, one of which caused a partial leg amputation and the other, which caused incomplete quadriplegic paralysis, has gone on to thrive and inspire others. Jim has used his Yale-degree smarts to speak and motivate people.

Jim is also featured in the about-to-be-released disability documentary “Emmanuel.” “Emmanuel’s” story is based on Emmanuel Yeboah, who will also be receiving an award that evening. The two men will be receiving their awards from Oprah Winfrey at Hollywood’s Kodak Theater.

Meanwhile, the inside word is that a film on Jim MacLaren’s inspiring life is in the works.

Margo Schwab, an alumna of the University of San Diego’s graduate business school, reports on social/charity events, celebrities, restaurants and from time to time breaking scoops. You can read more at her Web site, www.margomargo.com

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