Editors' pick

Virginia Gold Cup

Horse Racing

Editorial Review

General Admission Car Pass admits vehicle and six passengers to the North general parking area.

Gates open at 10 a.m.

Held in Fauquier County since 1922, the Virginia Gold Cup is more than just an annual steeplechase race. It has become one of the year's key social events, a sort of Ascot or Epsom Downs for Washington's 20- and 30-something set. Talk about a great way to make friends: Singles and groups mix and mingle at pre-race tailgate parties; enjoy the weather, the food and drink; and check out the opposite sex.

Since this is a society event, "appropriate afternoon dress" is required. What that means is up to you. The official Gold Cup Web site recommends "a sportswear look for women and khakis for men." But hey, if you have a white linen suit in your closet, this is a good time to bring it out. Women often opt for sundresses or skirts and flowery hats; there's an annual hat competition that rewards the most outlandish and most stylish.

See the official Web site, www.vagoldcup.com, for more information and a list of ticket outlets.

--- Fritz Hahn