Breeders Cup 2013
The Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Racetrack offered more than an opportunity to bet on some of the world’s best horses, there in Arcadia to compete for the biggest purses in North America.
The Nov. 1 and 2 meet also offered racing enthusiasts – including myself – a chance to deck out in a fascinator, fedora or any other fun style of hat.
Given purses ranging from $500,000 to $5 million, the Breeders’ Cup attracted actors, sports figures, other celebrities and local VIPs, along with horse owners and spectators from throughout the world. To add to the festivities, the weekend of racing also included a “Taste of the World” cocktail party featuring food and wine stations, which represented 16 different countries.
So why did the VIPs come?
Jerry Ferrara of “Entourage” said this was his third Breeders’ Cup. Confirming that a movie of “Entourage” was in the works, he said the show has accumulated even more fans since the series ended because people are now binge-watching entire seasons.
(As an aside, I have no doubt the show’s popularity is enormous and growing worldwide. Recently on a trip to India, I found myself seated on a plane among several young men from Kuwait, all of them huge fans of the show and wanting to talk to this American of nothing else.)
Ferrara was among those designated “celebrity ambassadors.” Others were former NBA coach Avery Johnson, sports radio host Jim Rome, baseball great Joe Torre, John Ortiz of “Luck and “Sliders;” Laura Bell Bundy of “Anger Management;” pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek; Denver Bronco Wes Welker; and Elizabeth Banks of “The Hunger Games” and “Seabiscuit.”
As a longtime horse-racing enthusiast, Banks spent the afternoon betting on the races before presenting a trophy to the $5 million winner. Wearing one of the more conservative outfits for this weekend at the racetrack, clearly she’s no Effie Trinket in real life.
Bon Jovi guitarist Richie Sambora said he and his father shared a love for horse racing. Saturday, he had the opportunity to make history by playing the Call to Post for the first time ever on a guitar.
“I’ve loved horses all my life and I’ve owned horses all my life,” Sambora said. “I only wish my dad were here right now to see this.”
Kristin Chenoweth, Toni Braxton, Jakob Dylan, John Osborne, Dame, Jenny O, Giselle Fernandez, Nikki Lane, Jenny & the Mexicats and American Authors performed. Others enjoying the races were sports figures Jason Collins and Bode Miller; actors David Arquette, Laura Bell Bundy, Emilio Estevez, Charlie O’Connell, Jerry O’Connell, Josh Bowman, Matt Lauria, Skeet Ulrich, David Krumholtz, Todd Lowe, Noureen DeWulf, Perry Ferrell and Tim DeKay; Breeders’ Cup CEO Craig Fravel; Montblanc NA CEO Jan-Patrick Schmitz; celebrity chef Bobby Flay of the Mesa Grill, Las Vegas; TV correspondent Catt Sadler; Alyce and Spud Williamson; and many more.
Top photo: Elizabeth Banks places her bets at the Breeders Cup 2013 at Santa Anita Racetrack (photo, courtesy of the Breeders Cup)
Second photo: From left, Alyce Williamson, Tiffany Beljak, part owner of Mizdirection, Rebecca Reed and Erika Foy at the Breeders Cup 2013 at Santa Anita (photo: SocietyNewsLA.com)
Third photo: Sisters Kelly McGill and Bo Derek at the Breeders Cup 2013 at Santa Anita Racetrack (photo: SocietyNewsLA.com)
Fourth photo: John Ortiz of “Luck” and “Sliders,” a celebrity ambassador at the Breeders Cup 2013, with Ellen Olivier
Fifth photo: Richie Sambora plays the Call to Post on guitar for the first time in history at the Breeders Cup 2013 (photo, Invision for Breeders Cup/ AP Images)
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Breeders Cup 2013
Published Nov. 6, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA