Concert to benefit horses and workers displaced by Lilac Fire

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DEL MAR, Calif. – Burt Bacharach, Elvis Costello, Bo Derek and Anjelica Huston are teaming up for a fundraiser to benefit horses and workers impacted when the Lilac Fire swept through the San Luis Rey Downs Training Center earlier this month, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club announced Wednesday.

Club officials said Bacharach, a six-time Grammy Award-winning composer, is a horse owner and racing fan. Costello, best known for his debut album “My Aim is True,” has co-written songs with Bacharach, toured with him and collaborated on an album.

The wind-driven blaze that broke out Dec. 7 scorched 4,100 acres from Bonsall to Oceanside and destroyed 157 structures. It created havoc at San Luis Rey Downs, killing 46 horses and injuring four of their handlers.

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“Horses and horse racing have given me nothing but pleasure for the last half-century,” Bacharach said. “The horrible circumstances around the San Luis Rey Downs fire cry out for aid in so many ways. This is my way of giving back to the horse community.”

Derek, who has lived in the North County for years, will serve as emcee at the Jan. 17 concert and auction event at the Belly Up Tavern. The actress is a former California Horse Racing Board member and horse advocate best known for her starring role in the movie “10.”

Huston, who won an Academy Award for her supporting role in “Prizzi’s Honor,” will be the auctioneer.

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Among the items up for bid are a chance to sing “Close to You” with Bacharach and a table for four on opening day at the Del Mar Racetrack.

Tickets range from $250 to $1,000 and will go on sale to the general public on Thursday via the venue’s website. Proceeds will be split between the California Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Foundation and the California Retirement Management Account.

According to the DMTC, the funds will benefit trainers, grooms and stable help displaced by the fire and ongoing care for the injured horses.