Kentucky Sports Radio at Breeders' Cup: Back For the First Time
It’s a beautiful Thursday afternoon here in sunny Los Angeles County, California, where after a missed exit and two perilous U-turns across three lanes of L.A. traffic, we are finally at Santa Anita Park for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The real action picks up tomorrow when the first Breeders’ Cup race goes off at 1:45 PDT, but we’re at the track today with TwinSpires.com’s Ed DeRosa for a tour of the grounds before the storm of degenerate gamblers, rich people, and rich people who gamble degenerately, roll in for Thursday’s live, non-Breeders’ Cup racing. As a first-timer here at Santa Anita Park, let me first say, this place is gorgeous. GORGEOUS. I had seen photos and heard the tales before coming out here, but just like telling the story of us sitting with Marilyn Manson on the airplane last night (more on that in a minute), putting it into words doesn’t do it justice. I’m a Keeneland guy, through and through, but Santa Anita is making me question my loyalty to Lexington, and I haven’t even been here two hours. I blame the mountains, those damn mountains and all their beauty, for tugging at my heart strings. I mean, look at that backdrop!
Since there hasn't been a lot of horse racing action yet, I'll use this space to paint the scene and our journey here, before tossing to Matt for a rundown of the competition. I'll use bold sentences for each observation, because it's KSR and that's what we do.
****** Marilyn Manson is our new best friend.
After a run-in with Marilyn Manson at the airport during our layover in Las Vegas, I didn't think life could possibly present a more random interaction, ever. Boy, was I wrong. I boarded the flight to Burbank a group ahead of Matt and grabbed the first aisle seat I could find. Matt lucked out and got the window seat in my row a few minutes later, leaving an empty middle seat for whoever dared to sit between us. And then it happened. Marilyn Manson, fiance in hand, asked if he could sit between us. He sent his fiance to the back -- which caused an enormous fight when we landed -- and then proceeded to talk our ears off for the entire flight. What do you need to know about Lindsay Lohan? We know it now. Danny McBride and next week's Eastbound & Down? I can tell you all about it; Manson guest stars. How about Joe Francis, Doug Stanhope, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, exorcisms, sex with Avril Lavigne, or electronic cigarettes? We know it all, his entire life story. He also invited us over to his house while we're in town. It's on top of a liquor store on Hollywood Blvd., if you're wondering.
What a crew.
Pasadena is incredibly dangerous, if you fear for your life at Tiffany & Co.
Matt warned me as I pulled off the exit into Pasadena that we might run into a little trouble. It was late at night, and he had heard stories about the mean streets of "Rose Town." So I locked the doors, locked the windows, politely asked him to turn down the Whitney Houston, and prepared for the worst. What we saw next is what I can only describe to you as the East St. Louis of shopping, entertainment and fine dining. I knew we were in trouble when we passed a Forever 21, next to an Urban Outfitters, next to a Ruth's Chris Steakhouse, across from a Tiffany & Co. Even worse, when we asked the car next to us for directions to our hotel (both of our phones were dead, no atlas), she told us the exact intersection and then let us in front of her when the light turned green so we wouldn't have trouble getting over. Ruthless, man. It ain't safe in these streets. Santa Anita is awesome. My aforementioned love for Santa Anita grows with every piece of piping hot horse manure at my feet and every drop of California sunshine in the sky. I won't really know what it's like here until the crowd files in for the Breeders' Cup races this weekend, but the early impression is strong. It's a huge venue, a little outdated but still very nice, and those mountains, man. This is a place where desktop wallpapers are born. The paddock is pretty lovely, too:
I can't wait to see what else this place has to offer over the next three days. 9 out of 10 men here have a mustache. There is a requirement somewhere deep inside the Santa Anita Park Employee Handbook that all male employees must don an enormous mustache while on the clock. Not just any 'stache, either; I mean a mustache that would bring Tom Selleck and Wyatt Earp to their knees. I've already risked my life three or four times trying to get a picture of a random worker, so you'll just have to take my word for it. They're all over the place. SnapChat isn't as popular with the elderly in California.
I made a new friend at breakfast in Clocker's Corner, so, naturally, I asked her for a 'snap' to send back to everyone in Kentucky. As you can see in the photo, she was SO excited to take a selfie with me. Her exact words: "Is that pointed back at us? How are you doing that?" Yes, new breakfast buddy, it is pointed back at us. And you look lovely, my dear. Now help me finish this sausage and bell pepper burrito.
A lot of money will change hands here over the next three days.
Hopefully, my hand will be a final destination for some of that money, not just the beginning of its travels. Roughly $150-million in bets will be placed on Breeders' Cup races this weekend, which reminds me...
Gamble with us on TwinSpires.com, get free money.
A friendly reminder... TwinSpires.com has a special offer for KSR readers and listeners who would like to wager on the Santa Anita action. Limited to you and only you, a free $50 wagering credit will be placed into your account once you sign up using the KSR50 promo code and make the minimum $50 deposit. This is available to new account holders only, and it will be applied to your account within 72 hours of the deposit, no wager required. Players will be eligible for the $100 Sign-Up Bonus, too. If players entering the KSR50 promo code meet the requirements of the $100 Sign-Up Bonus, an additional $50 will be deposited into their accounts. Let's all get stupid rich together. Like, buy an island just to say we own an island rich. Talk to you soon.