The Breeders’ Cup World Championship is once again returning to Southern California on October 31st and November 1st and we couldn’t be more excited. Fascinators, champagne and horses, oh my! In advance of one of thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious international events, we thought we’d ask Peter Rotondo, the Breeders’ Cup Vice President and star of the Esquire Network’s “Horseplayers,” for his advice on how to watch the the races at Santa Anita Park in style. So sit back, relax, and, armed with Rotondo’s tips, prepare to watch California Chrome’s attempt to win another world class championship.
- Viewing Experiences – How to Pick the Best Seats: From VIP luxury suites to in-field admissions, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships offers various unique viewing experiences, and at the end of the day, it’s all about where you sit. If you’re looking for a VIP setting in the middle of the action, The View offers lounge seating right next to the Winner’s Circle. Also worth checking out is the exclusive Chandelier Room, now with a private speakeasy experience. For more casual fans, the infield offers a great venue with open-air beer halls, gourmet food trucks and plenty of entertainment.
- Star Sightings: Hollywood’s biggest names come out to Santa Anita Park to watch the races. Be sure to check out Breeders’ Cup celebrity ambassadors walking the purple carpet in their racing attire (past celebrity attendees include Elizabeth Banks) and keep an eye out in the VIP seating areas like The View and the Chandelier Room for more celebrity sightings!
- World Class Dining: Fans in the VIP lounges will enjoy new dining options, including Taste of Napa Valley – an interactive dining experience with top celebrity chefs, Chef Chiarello and Chef Morimoto among others, who will be whipping up track-inspired dining. Six top Napa Valley Vinters will also be on-site for pairings.
- Thoroughbred Fashion: Many people envision over-the-top hats as the go-to style for horseracing, but at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, it’s all about fascinators for women and fedoras for men. For the ultimate luxe fashion experience, pick up a fascinator by Christine Moore, the official milliner of the Breeders’ Cup, and if you’re dressed to impress, be sure to check out the Breeders’ Cup Fascinators & Fedoras contest, where the best-dressed men and women will win big in exclusive prizes.
- High Stakes Betting: There is no better time to try your luck than at the Breeders’ Cup World Championships: known as the richest two days in sports with over $25 million in purses and awards, the stakes are high and the wagers are even higher. The best tip for beginners is to keep your eye out for the handicapping experts that walk around helping fans with placing their bets. Locate one of these experts in your suite and have them assist you with placing your bet for the best shot at going home a winner.
- Exclusive Parties: While the Breeders’ Cup World Championships is the main attraction, Los Angeles is full of exclusive parties leading up to the big day, including the Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Poker Tournament hosted by Gary Barber, Chairman & CEO, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios & Kevin Tsujihara, CEO, Warner Bros. Held at The Peninsula, the tournament will take place the Wednesday leading up to the races. For the more culinary-inclined, Taste of the World is the signature invite-only food and entertainment event of the Breeders’ Cup. Located at the Huntington Library, top chefs from around 15 countries (one representative from each country racing in the Breeders’ Cup) prepare authentic cuisine for thoroughbred VIPs. Past chefs include Bobby Flay, Morimoto, John Sedlar and Lincoln Davies.
- Celebrating at Home: Can’t make it down to Santa Anita Park for the races? Bring the races home with you and throw the ultimate Breeders’ Cup viewing party for your family and friends by tuning into the World Championships on NBC and NBC Sports. Keep with the tradition and suggest a fascinators and fedoras dress code for your party attendees, and be sure to welcome them with ‘The Classic’ cocktail, with Tito’s Handmade Vodka, St. Germain, fresh grapefruit juice and club soda. Pair ‘The Classic’ cocktail with the official Breeders’ Cupcake by Annette Starbuck, founder of the award-winning bakery, Goodie Girls. Fans can download the delicious recipe at breederscupcake.com. Nervous about missing out on the betting and excitement of being at the races? Not to worry – you can even make your wagers at home for a chance to win online via Xpressbet at xpressbet.com. It will feel like you brought Santa Anita Park right into your living room!