Legacy of Love

For a young San Marcos couple, Nov. 18 was a day to remember at the Del Mar Racetrack. Michael Pettinato brought his girlfriend, Katie Brown, to the Don Diego Legacy Brick Fountain at the fairgrounds. He claimed he wanted to show her a Don Diego Legacy Brick his mother had purchased, but when they arrived, she learned the brick was actually inscribed “Katie Brown, 2017: Will You Marry Me? – Michael Pettinato.” When Michael got down on one knee, she said yes.

Their families emerged from their nearby hiding spot, and together with passing race fans congratulated the newly engaged couple. Katie shared, “I’ve been hoping Michael would ask me to marry him. This very morning, I had a weird feeling and thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if he proposed at the track?’ But I had no idea he actually would!”


Every Don Diego Legacy Brick purchased benefits the Don Diego Scholarship Foundation, which has awarded $862,000 in scholarships to local students and in agriculture education grants since 1986. The bricks are installed at the fountain at the Del Mar Fairgrounds, where one day several years ago, Michael noticed them. He explained, “I read the inscriptions and thought wow, great idea – installing a personalized brick in a beautiful place – it’s something that will last forever.”

The Don Diego Scholarship Foundation offers scholarships to outstanding 4-H members, Future Farmers of America members, employees and contractors at the Del Mar Fairgrounds or Del Mar Thoroughbred Club, and exhibitors at the San Diego County Fair or equestrian events at the Del Mar Fairgrounds or Horsepark. Learn more at www.dondiegoscholarship.org.