The morning hangout, Clocker’s Corner, is full of horsemen and fans alike. Television crews have horse spotters bantering back and forth by walkie-talkie. The wait for a breakfast burrito at the Clocker’s Corner to-go counter is half an hour. Santa Anita Park is spruced up with new flowers, paint, boards, drainage grates, parking lines, temporary seats and tents - whathaveyou. A classic prancing horse statue has greeted visitors to the paddock gardens throughout the meet, and, most obvious of all, the color purple is unavoidable.
Purple signs, banners, flowers, saddling numbers, jackets, credential cards, hats, saddlecloths…We are lucky they did not paint the Seabiscuit statue purple.
The Breeders’ Cup World Championships, of which purple is the official color, are already at Santa Anita Park in full force. At the end of each October, one lucky track gets to host the largest gathering of star horses, jockeys, trainers, owners, etc. in the entire year. Oak Tree at Santa Anita has the honor of hosting two consecutive Breeders’ Cups (2008 and 2009), and the first synthetic surface Cup. There are also several new races this year, expanded from 11 to 14.
Though Big Brown is out, 2007 Horse of the Year Curlin, the sensational Zenyatta, and many other domestic and foreign stars will race this Friday and Saturday to determine year-end titles in each division.
Visit this address for daily workout and schooling photos leading up to the big days.
Visit http://www.breederscup.com/ for event info.