#SPOTTED: MR. WILL AT SANTA ANITA PARK!
Being a longtime Fan and Ambassador to Horse Racing, I’ve dreamt of the day I could visit World-famous Santa Anita Park, often the site of Championship Racing Day, the Breeders’ Cup! It was completely unexpected that I’d be visiting California this past week and there was no way I was visiting without seeing the Track once and for all! I’m always looking for ways to welcome new Fans to the Sport and let me tell you, I absolutely cannot wait till Woodbine Racetrack‘s 2014 Season begins in April!
I was thrilled to be invited for an unforgettable afternoon at the beautiful Arcadia Racecourse which was established in 1934 – now housing over 1,900 Horses – getting an opportunity to see why it is Santa Anita often is touted the most scenic. I will begin by saying Santa Anita Park is just as beautiful as it looks on TV – even on a rare cloudy, wet day. The dark clouds descending over the San Gabriel Mountains as the Venue was lit-up colourfully by its recently-installed LED Tote Board. Picture-perfect. The Art Deco-inspired Decor takes me away to Era of excess, glamour and exquisite taste.
Katie Abbott, Director of Interactive Marketing at Santa Anita was kind enough to take me on an intimate Tour. I visited the super-fancy Box Seats, the ultra-exclusive Chandelier Room (where Jeff Goldbum is slated to play the piano soon!) and I was in awe of the phenomenal Dining Choices including a Salad Bar, a Noodle Bar and Smoked Meat Sandwiches. Let me tell you, Santa Anita fans love their Craft Beer! Gene Simmons (KISS), Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez are said to be Regulars even. The air is buzzing with excitement for Santa Anita Handicap Day and you can see Posters everywhere teasing a Rematch between Game on Dude, Will Take Charge and Breeders’ Cup Classic Hero Mucho Macho Man.
To say I’ve now seen the likes of Hall of Famer Mike Smith, brilliant and young Joe Talamo, Vancouver’s Mario Gutierrez, Rising Star Drayden VanDyke and leading Jockey Rafael Bejarano, all in-action on their Home Turf is something of a lifelong wish.
If you ever get a chance to visit California, you must partake in the Santa Anita Experience. The Grandstand puts you up-close to the action and you feel you’re in the moment in the Stretch Run. The Fans are engaged, making a the festive atmosphere and oh yes, the FrontRunner Lounge. You must visit the FrontRunner Lounge. Upon recommendation, I tried their famous Crab Cakes and it was most remarkable – every bite filled with decadent shredded Crab!
My Day at Santa Anita Park is a day I never will forget!
Mr. Will and some of the Stars of Santa Anita (Top: Drayden VanDyke, Tyler Baze, Mario Gutierrez, Aaron Gryder; Second Row: Martin Garcia, Joe Talamo; Third Row: Kayla Stra, Alonso Quinonez, Rafael Bejarano, Doug O’Neill):
And check-out Bugler Jay Cohen‘s super-special greeting to us back home in Canada:
For more on Santa Anita Park, click here!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)