My Breeders’ Cup Experience

By Tiffany Doolittle

November 6, 2013

Last weekend, I attended the most surprisingly incredible experience of my life at the Breeders’ Cup 2013 World Championships in Arcadia, California.

I did my research and was very knowledgeable of the event, but I still went into the trip pretty unaware of what I was getting into. I’d been to many large sporting events in the last few years, but never to a horse race of that caliber and I loved every second of it.

The Breeders’ Cup races lasted for two days, Friday and Saturday, and had so many different happenings that attendees young and old, male and female, serious horse enthusiasts and not could all have a blast.ast weekend, I attended the most surprisingly incredible experience of my life at the Breeders’ Cup 2013 in Arcadia, California.

After landing in LA and making it to the Hilton Los Angeles-San Gabriel, I took a night to relax before the big weekend and gather my race necessities – my camera, gift bags, hospitality, fast access and bus passes – and my winning picks (which were obviously not much more thought out than funny names and lucky numbers).

Letting the Experience Sink In
The first day of races, I woke up and headed over to the Embassy Suites Arcadia-Pasadena to pick up some of our guests who flew in from all over the country for the event.

I initially thought that the ride would be quiet with so many complete strangers, but I found that the buses were the best place to get to know everyone, share racing stories, hometowns and betting secrets, and see the beautiful view leading into the mountainous Santa Anita Park®.

Some were there because they owned, bred or trained their own horses, while others were there for the sole purpose of betting, supporting a favorite horse or jockey, or just a new experience and a California vacation.

We then entered the track in VIP fashion (which I’m not used to at all). We pulled right up to the entrance in our Breeders’ Cup Experiences bus and skipped the line with fast access passes, which made the process much easier!

My My! Don't you look dapper?
The first thing that I noticed after entering Santa Anita Park® was the amount of well-dressed people and the wide range of attire from nice Polos and sundresses, to tuxedos and elaborate headpieces.

As I made my way through the crowd and up the escalator, I began to notice how amazing the hospitality venue looked! It glowed from afar in Breeders’ Cup purple and had immediate access to betting machines, gourmet food and a complimentary bar to avoid waiting in the long lines.

Celebrities and a Celebrity Experience
The one thing that nobody could help but to notice was how breathtaking the view was from above the track, with nothing but horses, palm trees, blue skies and mountains in sight – and my completely filled camera is a good indication of my awe.

Although the hospitality did not have a direct view of the track, there were TV’s everywhere you turned with races, results, replays and more, so that the serious betters and horse enthusiasts didn’t miss a thing.

The accessible buffets, drinks, betting machines and TVs also came in handy while our celebrity guests where speaking in the suite - including jockey legend Christopher McCarron, Hall of Fame horse trainer Jack Van Berg, Daily Racing Forum correspondent Jay Privman and the Donna Barton Brothers!

Betting and Horsing Around
The suite did have a perfect view overlooking the tunnel where the horses and jockeys enter onto the track and return from each race.

This allowed us to see the nerves going into and emotions coming out of each race, which is something many people don’t get to see as up close and personal as we were the entire weekend.

According to one thoroughbred breeder and betting fanatic, that is the best seat in the house because a “horse’s behind” shows you everything you need to know about their strength, preparation, enthusiasm and nerves going into a race. I thought it was a silly statement at first, but after she won more bets than anyone in our suite, I started to appreciate her appreciation for a horse’s rear end.

If only I would l have listened to her, or any of our experts in attendance, I might’ve had the opportunity to get excited over more than my first and only win of $25.

And how did I get that win you ask? By selecting my favorite number (12) and the best name on the list (Goldencents) during a big Breeders’ Cup race – and I didn’t stray too far from that technique the entire weekend.

Despite my unlucky betting, the weekend was a success. The incredible views, constant picture-finishes, VIP treatment, and amazing celebrity performances and appearances made this trip remarkable. I can guarantee you’ll see me at the 2014 Breeders’ Cup!


Attend the 2014 Breeders' Cup