Breeders Cup 2013

Elizabeth Banks, Jim Rome Among Actors, Sports Figures and Others at the Breeders’ Cup


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.  

Click here to see my story in the Los Angeles Times about the Breeders’ Cup weekend, which is also accompanied by a photo gallery here. Yet more photos, and a few more thoughts, are below. 

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? 

alyce williamson, tiffany beljak, rebecca reed, erika foy DSCN1644-2
Said Bo Derek of “10,” attending with her sister, Kelly McGill,  “I was born horse-crazy. Some girls are.” More than merely horse crazy, Derek is also a California horse racing commissioner.

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. 

Sisters Kelly McGill & Bo Derek DSCN1655

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:


Third photo: Sisters Kelly McGill and Bo Derek at the Breeders Cup 2013 at Santa Anita Racetrack (photo:

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) 



NYU Tisch School Heads West to Honor Oliver Stone and Liza Chasin at “Scene Change L.A.”

Amber Valletta, Gelila Assefa Puck and Wolfgang Puck Honor Franca Sozzani at the Dream for Future Africa Gala

Matt Damon, Hayden Panettiere, Bill McKibben, Anna Getty Go Green and Get Awards; Darren Criss Helps Celebrate

Saying It With Flowers – A Glamorous Salute to Diahann Carroll and Cheryl Boone Isaacs 

Cindy Crawford, Pierce Brosnan, Julia Roberts, Chris Harrison Lend Support to Malibu Boys & Girls Club

Mark Burnett and Roma Downey Celebrate Joshua Dubois’ Book, “The President’s Devotional,” of Inspirational Messages to Barack Obama

A Galaxy of Stars Toast “The Wallis” at the Grand Inaugural Gala for the new Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts

Richie Sambora
Viola Davis, Charles Ray Pay Tribute to Tony Kushner, Robert Gober at the Hammer Gala with Will Ferrell and Rita Wilson

Variety Honors Nicole Kidman, Amy Poehler, Charlize Theron, Kerry Washington, Elizabeth Banks, Jennifer Hudson, Amy Pascal

[nggallery id=297]

Breeders Cup 2013

Published Nov. 6, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA