Combining sporting excellence, fashion and fun, the four day event is the highlight of the season on the Knavesmire.
Among those delighting in the racing today was Prince Andrew, who presented the prestigious Juddmonte International trophy.
York Racecourse spokesman James Brennan said: “The sun’s come out and it’s properly lovely here for people enjoying the champagne terrace and the roof terrace.”
Around 19,000 people turned out for the festival’s first day.
“They’ve been treated to some fabulous horse racing,” Mr Brennan said.
“The world’s best horse, Postponed, won the world’s best race. He was the favourite for it, but there had been question marks has he had been poorly last month. He was back at his fighting best though.”
Over at the Ebor Fashion Lawn, the focus shifted to the spectators themselves as ladies, gents and children took a turn on the catwalk.
Stephanie Germany, who was joined for the day by her sister, said: “I just love York Racecourse. It’s such a pretty course and it always looks beautiful.
“We come along most years and are regular racegoers. I had a winner in the first and was a runner-up in best dressed lady.
“The Juddmonte is always a fantastic race and today we’ve seen the fastest racehorse in the world run in that and win. It doesn’t get much better than that.”
The festival continues tomorrow with Darley Yorkshire Oaks and Ladies Day, during the Best Dressed Festival Racegoer will be crowned.