Get a chance to see the crème de la crème of thoroughbreds at November’s two-day Breeders’ Cup, which boasts of awarding the richest purse for horse racing in North America. The races change location each year, but are often held at the Del Mar Racetrack in San Diego County or at Santa Anita Park in Los Angeles County.
This unofficial culmination of the thoroughbred racing season brings together the year’s fastest horses (ages 3 years and up), who compete for a $28 million total in race winnings. The Cup first launched with aplomb in 1984, ending in a memorable three-way tie at Hollywood Park in Los Angeles.
In the years since, the race has been held in New York, Kentucky, and even Canada, but is regularly based in Southern California. Arcadia’s Santa Anita Park, east of Pasadena, has a history that stretches back to 1907, including big moments such as a Seabiscuit win in 1940 and the equestrian events at the 1984 Summer Olympic Games. In the San Diego County beach town of Del Mar, the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club embraces an old-Hollywood-style glamour: Bing Crosby was one of the track’s founding investors in the 1930s and sang its catchy theme song (“Where the turf meets the surf, down at old Del Mar…”) and women still wear fancy hats on big racing days.
Today, the Breeders’ Cup is known to bring together a flurry of celebs, many donning traditional fedoras, fascinators, and other fashionable head-toppers themselves to attend blow-out parties, big-name concerts, and exclusive VIP happenings. Choose from admission levels that include general seating, reserved box seats, or all-inclusive plans that bundle in meals, an open bar, and meet-and-greets with jockeys.