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November 11, 2016

Breeders’ Cup 2016

Emily Ratajkowski
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay
Elizabeth Banks
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay
Camilla Belle
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay
Allison Janney
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay
Wilmer Valderrama & Constance Zimmer
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay
Guest & Taylor Lautner
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay
Jockey Victor Espinoza and his horse, California Chrome
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay
Espinoza and The Breeders' Cup statue at Santa Anita Park
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay

Breeders' Cup 2016 winner Arrogate and his jockey, Mike Smith
Photo Credit: Charley Gallay

Photo Credit: Charley Gallay

While some may recognize 44-year-old Victor Espinoza as last year’s highly entertaining Dancing With the Stars contender, others know him for commanding the track in the equestrian world, as one of the sport’s biggest and most well-known names. Just last year, the Mexico-born jockey won the first Triple Crown in 37 years on American Pharoah and continued his winning streak by achieving the first horse racing Grand Slam with a triumph in the 2015 Breeders’ Cup Classic at Keeneland in Kentucky. So when the 5-foot-2-inch star entered the 2016 Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5 to an eager, collective crowd total of 118,484 people—the highest in the Thoroughbred horse race’s prestigious history since 1984—you can bet all eyes were on Espinoza and his trusty steed, California Chrome.

The two-day affair drew devotees from across the Golden State, including famous faces like Elizabeth Banks, Emily Ratajkowski, Susan Sarandon, Camilla Belle, Taylor Lautner and Bobby Flay, who cheered on Espinoza, while also taking time to enjoy the event’s highly anticipated and buzz-worthy range of world-class food and drink, high-end fashion (think: feathered floppy hats and showstopping couture), and luxury entertainment. The Friday night festivities kicked off with a Pasadena Fan Fest, which featured live music from an ’80s cover band, a round up of beloved local food trucks, specialty cocktails, and styling tips from official milliner Christine Moore. The excitement continued on the track Saturday with countless races, and while Espinoza put up a fight to the finish, rising 3-year-old star, Juddmonte Farms’ Arrogate beat California Chrome, the hometown favorite and North America’s richest racehorse, to win this year’s $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic.

“The Breeders’ Cup exists to showcase the very best of Thoroughbred racing and we witnessed that over the last two days,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel. With horses like Arrogate and Espinoza’s California Chrome commanding the track, we couldn’t agree more.

 

 

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Photo Credit: Charley Gallay
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