ARCADIA , Calif. (Aug. 9, 2012)—Breeders’ Cup Limited has announced that the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, to be run Nov. 2 & 3 at Santa Anita, will return to The Great Race Place for the seventh time on Nov. 1 & 2, 2013.
“This is going to be a great two-day party for the L.A. area right here at Santa Anita,” said Mark Verge, Santa Anita C.E.O. “We want people to know they can come, party and gamble at the most beautiful racetrack in the world and it’s a party they’ll never forget.
“Thanks to the efforts of our Chairman, Frank Stronach, Santa Anita has proven time and again to be a perfect venue for the Breeders’ Cup and we look forward to again showcasing what we believe is America ’s premier racing facility.
“We’re also very excited about our overall food and beverage presentation for the Breeders’ Cup, beginning with our opening day, this year, Sept. 28. We’ve hired Cedd Moses, who’s been an integral part of the revitalization of downtown L.A. , to be in charge of our cocktail service and presentation and it’s going to be fantastic. Cedd’s bar, The Varnish, was just voted ‘Best American Cocktail Bar’ and we look forward to sharing that kind of fresh look and approach with our fans here at Santa Anita.”
Arcadia Mayor Bob Harbicht was also excited about the prospect of back-to-back Breeders’ Cups.
“We are elated to learn the Breeders’ Cup is coming here again in 2013,” said Harbicht. “ Arcadia is proud to be the center of attention in the racing world when the Breeders’ Cup is going on and we welcome those who attend and the economic boost it brings to the community. We also see Santa Anita as an outstanding corporate neighbor.
“I think our commitment to this event is evidenced each year we host it by how many of our residents volunteer to assist patrons during the two-day event. What’s good for Santa Anita is good for Arcadia .”
Initially run at Santa Anita in 1986, the Breeders’ Cup has also been hosted by Santa Anita in 1993, 2003, 2008 & ’09. Some of the most successful Breeders’ Cups ever have been run in Arcadia , including the 2009 renewal, which included Zenyatta’s dramatic last-to-first win against the boys in the $5 million Classic, a race considered by many to be the most dramatic moment in the 28-year history of the Breeders’ Cup.
“This is great news,” said Hall of Fame trainer and Thoroughbred Owners of California board member Bob Baffert, who won the 2008 Juvenile at Santa Anita with Midshipman and the ’08 Sprint with Midnight Lute. “Santa Anita has so much to offer. We’ve got great weather and it’s easy to ship in and out of here from anywhere in the world.
“This will also help us to attract more owners and more horses to California , which is a big priority for all of us. My owners are looking forward to it and we hope to be able to win some races.”
Trainer Doug O’Neill, whose I’ll Have Another purloined a win in this year’s Santa Anita Derby to victories in both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, echoed Baffert’s sentiments.
“I’m very, very pumped about back-to-back Breeders’ Cups at Santa Anita,” said O’Neill. “I personally know the management team there and they’re going to make Santa Anita rock. We’ve got the best weather, the best racetrack, a great turf course and a great paddock area for the horses. There’s no place like Santa Anita and my owners are all very excited about having a chance to not only run in the Breeders’ Cup here, but bring their families and friends out to experience the greatest two days in sports.”
The economic benefits of the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita far exceed the bounds of purse money and pari-mutuel handle.
“In both 2008 and 2009, it’s estimated that approximately $60 million a year was generated in terms of overall revenues, things like hotels, restaurants and rent-a-cars,” said Santa Anita President George Haines. “Having the Breeders’ Cup here is good economic news for the entire L.A. area.
“Additionally, we’ll be employing over three thousand people again in 2013 and so this is also welcome news for everyone working in the racing industry here. We look forward to again televising the two-day event live on NBC Sports Network and, as we are doing this year, televising the $5 million Classic on over-the-air NBC during Eastern prime time.”
Business was brisk in 2009, when 58,845 attended on Breeders’ Cup Classic Day, Nov. 7. Coupled with an on-track crowd of 37,651 on Nov. 6, the two-day event attracted a total of 96,496 fans, who along with horseplayers from around the world, wagered a total of $148,365,525.
In addition to Zenyatta’s unforgettable Classic win in 2009, Hall of Fame trainer Richard Mandella’s unprecedented four-win Breeders’ Cup Day at Santa Anita in 2003 ranks a close second to Zenyatta’s win in terms of great performances.
On Nov. 6, 2003, Mandella won the Juvenile Fillies with Halfbridled, the Juvenile with Action This Day, the Turf with Johar (in a dead heat) and the Classic with Pleasantly Perfect.
Santa Anita’s 24-day Autumn Meet opens on Friday, Sept. 28, with first post time at 1 p.m.
For more information on the 2012 & 2013 Breeders’ Cups at Santa Anita, fans are encouraged to call (800) 722-3287. To order 2012 Breeders’ Cup tickets, call (877) 426-6948.