My visit to The Great Race Place
One of the best things about working in the horse racing world is the travel opportunities that present themselves. I’ve been spoiled in the last couple months to go from the coast in Florida to the busy and beautiful city of Los Angeles! California boasts two of the most picturesque racetracks in the world and I got to spend my Saturday at The Great Race Place of Santa Anita Park.
With a beautiful backdrop of the California mountains and palm trees, this is not a place that you want to be locked inside. Luckily, the track offers gorgeous balcony bars, restaurants and lounge areas. One of my most favorite areas is The Chandelier Room. With deep blue velvet couches, white marble tables, and of course beautiful big chandeliers, it is the perfect place to grab a cocktail and socialize with friends! Surrounded by sunny balconies, you can hang inside and rest your feet and then head outside watch the races!
I’ve only been to Santa Anita for the Breeders Cup Championships which is quite a busy time in Pasadena, California. Although I do love a good Breeders Cup, it was wonderful to be at this big beautiful track on a lighter day and be able to just enjoy the different areas of the track including the Sports Book, the Chandelier Room, the Turf Terrace, and Sirona’s Sports Bar!
I arrived at the track pretty early in order to watch the races in the Dubai World Cup. Much of the track wasn’t open yet (but I got great parking!) but the Sports Book had all the televisions on and a famous handicapper, ‘Larry the Hat’ was in there making his plan for the days races. Personally, I will have an occasional ‘punt’ but nothing too extreme. Like SJP- I like my money where I can see it, in my closet! However, I do like to have a bit of fun with it every once in a while, and sometimes it even builds my closet up!!
Listening to the handicappers in the Sports Book was quite an experience. Their knowledge goes well beyond what is in the program which you can tell is from years of experience and hours and hours of studying. I was trying to pick up on some knowledge along the way…or some picks for the day. 😉
They inspired me to make a few bets on the day with one of them on the popular California Chrome who was running in the $10 Million Dubai World Cup. Me winning a few bucks wasn’t the highlight…watching the 2015 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Winner come back and win the richest race in the world was definitely the best part. The second best part of his win was now being able to buy myself a mimosa at the Chandelier Room! Way to go Chrome!
If you follow me on Instagram, you would have seen some pictures from my new house which included a couple beautiful chandeliers. These light fixtures are a major reason that I purchased the 1913 home, and my vision for its decoration was very much modeled after the gorgeous décor of this big room at Santa Anita. I am in love with the velvet upholstery and gold accent furniture. The clean white walls give the room such a chic minimalist feel. Many racetracks do not have this décor and as such, Santa Anita is a true gem.
I had an hour or so before the first post at Santa Anita, so I made my new friend Alfred sit down with me and talk about the ponies in on the day. We talked about pick-6’s and how he and his friends played them frequently and never took the pot, but the one day they decided not to play the ticket they chose, their picks would have won. Story of my betting life…I guess I’ll stick to the mimosas and the fashion 😉
After a yummy lunch and a few cocktails on the Turf Terrace, it was time for the big race, the Santa Ana Stakes that included our filly with Valor Ladies. Tuttipaesi (#6 horse) was imported from Italy and has over 15 owners, all female. We walked to the paddock to see her saddled for the race and then we waited by the rail of the track as she left the gate at the back of the pack and then well….you’ll have to watch for yourself…(if you keep watching after the race you will see me!)
There is no feeling like watching your horse cross the finish line in front of the pack. This win was definitely a sweet one as you can see how she pushed through two fillies and fought to get her head in front of that pole first. She gives a new meaning to “Run like a Girl.” Go Tutti and congratulations to all Valor Ladies partners on their big win.
From start to finish, my day at Santa Anita was a perfect way to spend a Saturday. Although I love my Old Kentucky Home, I can’t help but wonder if I should have a L.A. home as well….thoughts?? 😉
Thanks to Santa Anita for having me for the day and to Zoe Metz for snapping these beautiful photos! I can’t WAIT to get back to Pasadena and enjoy another day of racing at The Great Race Place….which is very aptly named! (See below for where to buy the whole outfit!)
Dress: ASOS Shoes: Steve Madden Hat: ASOS ($24!) Bag: Furla Watch: Longines Pin: Gift from my Grandmother 🙂
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