The 33rd Annual Breeders Cup World Championship 2016 at Santa Anita Park

 Breeders Cup World Championship 2016 (Photos by Rachel Ganz for The LA Beat)

Breeders Cup World Championship 2016 (Photos by Rachel Ganz for The LA Beat)

Last Saturday, 72,811 horse racing enthusiasts crowded the racetrack at Santa Anita Park for the Breeder’s Cup Classic. It was an extremely hot day, but the weather did not stop the crowds from filling up Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, which is surrounded by the magnificent San Gabriel Mountains.

“California Chrome,” trained by Art Sherman, was the predicted winner and fan favorite. “California Chrome,” had completed a successful globe-trotting campaign that took him from the beaches of Del Mar to the desert sands of Dubai. He became the richest horse in North America after winning over $13 million in purse earnings. To everyone’s surprise, including jockey Victor Espinoza, 3 year old “Arrogate,” owned by the Saudi royal family and trained by Bob Baffert, leaped ahead of “California Chrome” in the final stretch and won the 1 ¼ mile race by half-length in 2:00.11.

Jockey Mike Smith, riding Arrogate, was smiling and beaming brightly at “The Winners Circle,” “Arrogate,” who was bought for $550,000 as a yearling, also won the trophy at Saratoga Springs in New York this past August. He set the record for the fastest mile and a quarter in more than 150 years at the Spa

I was lucky enough to pet the beautiful thoroughbred Arabian race horses in the Paddock area. Arabian horses are known for their high intelligence, loyalty, high spirit and gentle disposition. Many children were hugging and kissing these gorgeous horses and they responded back with soft nuzzling, and burrowing their noses into the hands of their admirers.

I was lucky enough also able to access the exclusive “Trophy Lounge” and “Winners Circle and Walking Access.” Earlier in the day, while waiting in line at the bar of the ”Trophy Lounge,” a distinguished middle-aged Middle-Eastern man gave me a “Hot Tip” to bet on “Arrogate.” He explained that “Arrogate” was going to win because of his superior diet of “alfalfa, some barely, two buckets of dates and camels milk.” I should have taken his advice and bet on “Arrogate.” Perhaps I should tell all of the other horse trainers to stock up on dates and camels milk from Trader Joes for their horses’ future racing success!

Wandering around the “Trophy Lounge,” I followed a few photographers who were taking spontaneous celebrity photos. I was able to get many photos of actress Susan Sarandon, actor Jeffery Bowyer-Chapman, Renata Elizabeth White and football running back Steven Jackson, actress Katie Aselton, actress Allison Janney, Belinda Stronach (Canadian business woman, philanthropist and former politician), actor Kevin Dillion and many more. I was able to say a brief hello to Susan Sarandon, who was extremely charming and sweet. I had a wonderful time attending “The 33rd Breeders Cup World Championship 2016” despite only winning $3.50. I hope to attend next year, and next time I will take the tip!

Special thanks to Tina Bugari of Bulgari Jewelry, Italy, for her assistance.

 

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