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Features - POP CULTURE

Elizabeth Banks (above, left) and Bo Derek (above, right) are just two of many celebrities to look for at the 2013 Breeders' Cup World Championships on Nov. 1-2.

What began as a one-day, seven-race event has grown into a two-day, $27 million extravaganza attracting the best horses, trainers, and owners from across the globe.

It also attracts an array of celebrities, star athletes, luminaries and personalities across a wide spectrum of industries. 

The Breeders’ Cup - horse racing’s Super Bowl event where lifestyle, fashion, celebrities, drinks/cocktails, gambling, racing and the world’s best horses all convene - is one of the best 2-day sports and entertainment events on the planet.   Keep your eyes wide open and you just may bump into: 


Breeders’ Cup Connection

Did You Know?

Joe Torre


Follow @JoeTorre on Twitter

Co-owner of Game on Dude, the top- ranked horse in North America and the favorite to win the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic 

Torre was the 1971 National League Most Valuable Player. He managed the New York Yankees from 1996 to 2007. The Yankees reached the post season each year and won ten American League East Division titles, six American League pennants, four World Series titles. With 2,326 wins, he currently ranks fifth on the list of Major League Baseball all-time managerial wins. Currently serves as Major League Baseball's Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations.

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Rick Pitino

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Follow @Rick_Pitino on Twitter

Co-owner of Goldencents, who will be racing in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile

Since 2001, Rick Pitino has been the head coach at the University of Louisville. He coached the Cardinals to the 2012-2013 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Championship. Pitino guided Providence to an improbable run to the NCAA Final Four in 1987. As the University of Kentucky coach, he led the Wildcats to the 1996 NCAA Championship while amassing a 219-50 record in eight seasons. He also coached the Boston Celtics in the NBA.

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Jim Rome

TS-Rome Trophy

Follow @jimrome on Twittter

Co-owner of Mizdirection, reigning Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint champion looking to repeat in 2013

Jim Rome is one of the most respected voices in the world of sports broadcasting and leading opinion-makers of his generation. Best known for his aggressive, informed, rapid-fire dialogue, Rome has established himself as the top choice of athletes and fans when it is time to know what is going on beyond the scoreboard.  Rome hosts both a daily show, named Rome, and the weekly “Jim Rome” on Showtime.

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Seth Klarman


Owner of Ready to Act, racing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf; owner of Sum of the Parts, racing in the Breeders’ Cup Sprint, in the name of Klaravich Stables

Seth Klarman is the president of The Baupost Group, one of the most successful hedge fund companies in the world. An investment adviser, Lawrence is the co-founder of the New York-based Meridian Capital Partners Inc., where he is the CEO and chief investment officer. Median Capital has offices in New York City and Albany, N.Y. A minority owner of the Boston Red Sox.

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Scott Kaplan and
Billy Ray Smith

Scott Bryan

Follow @scottandBR
@ScottKaplan and 
@Billyraysmith on Twitter

Co-owners of Clenor, racing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf

Scott Kaplan and Billy Ray Smith, aka “Scott & BR” of San Diego drive-time radio fame. Hosts of the popular “Scott & BR Show”. Scott also was featured recently in “Stable Wars: Del Mar,” which aired on the Fox Sports Regional Network across the country. 

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Gary Barber

Gary Barber

Co-owner of Laugh Track, racing in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile or Sprint

Co-founder, along with Roger Birnbaum, and CEO of Spyglass Entertainment, which has produced such motion pictures as Seabiscuit, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards; Memoirs of a Geisha, which won three Academy Awards; The Insider, nominated for seven Academy Awards; and The Sixth Sense, nominated for six Academy Awards. Barber has served as executive producer of more than 50 films.

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Charlotte Weber


Owner of Za Approval racing in BC Mile

Weber is the granddaughter of Campbell Soup founder John T. Dorrance and she serves as a board trustee of Campbell Soup Co. … She also is a member of the board of trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and provided funding for the Met Museum’s Charlotte C. Weber Galleries for the Arts of Ancient China. 

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Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (Darley Stable, Godolphin Racing)

Sheikh Mohammed

Follow @HHShkMohd on Twitter

Owns Outstrip, a homebred racing in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf; Alpha, a homebred competing in the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile; Sky Painter, a homebred racing in Juvenile Fillies Turf ; Dancing House, a homebred racing in either the Juvenile Fillies or Juvenile Fillies Turf; and Dance Card, a contender for the Filly and mare Sprint.

Sheikh Mohammed is the prime minister and vice president of the United Arab Emirates, the crown ruler of Dubai and one of the leading owners globally in Thoroughbred racing. He also is the creator of the Dubai World Cup and was a visionary in the building of Dubai’s world-class Meydan Racecourse.

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Andrew Lloyd Webber


Follow @OfficialALW on Twitter

Owner of The Fugue, racing in the Filly and Mare Turf or Breeders’ Cup Turf

Lloyd Webber has achieved great popular success in musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He has composed 13 musicals, a song cycle, a set of variations, two film scores, and a Latin Requiem Mass. He has also gained a number of honors, including a knighthood in 1992, followed by a peerage from the British Government for services to Music, seven Tony Awards, three Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, 14 Ivor Novello Awards, seven Olivier Awards, a Golden Globe Award, and the Kennedy Center Honors in 2006.


Barry Schwartz

Schwartz Head

Owner of The Lumber Guy, racing in the Sprint

Former CEO of Calvin Klein Inc. He turned a $10,000 investment in 1968 into a multibillion-dollar corporation with Calvin Klein, his childhood friend. 


Bobby Flay


Follow @bflay on Twitter

Breeders’ Cup Ambassador and Thoroughbred owner

Celebrity chef, restaurateur and reality television personality. He is the owner and executive chef of multiple restaurants: Mesa Grill in Las Vegas, New York, and the Bahamas; Bar Americain in New York and Uncasville, Ct.; Bobby Flay Steak in Atlantic City; and Bobby's Burger Palace in ten locations. Flay has hosted several Food Network television programs, appeared as a guest and hosted a number of specials on the network. Flay is featured on the Great Chefs television series.

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Laura Bell Bundy

Laura Bell Bundy

Follow @LauraBellBundy on Twitter 

Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Ambassador

Laura Bell Bundy began her acting career at the early age of 14 and has enjoyed a fantastic career. She played her first role in the megahit Jumanji, and now is a renowned figure in both the music and film industries. Bundy, a proud Kentuckian born and raised in the heart of Lexington, has produced numerous country hits such as “Giddy On Up”, and “Drop on By”. A fitting icon for the sport of racing, Bundy has been a part of the racing community since early childhood and continues to enjoy the classic pastime with her family and friends.

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Elizabeth Banks


Follow @ElizabethBanks on Twitter

Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Ambassador

Actress Elizabeth Banks has enjoyed much success onscreen, and 2013 will be no exception. Fans can look forward to seeing Banks in multiple film projects, including the much-anticipated second installment of the The Hunger Games trilogy, Catching Fire. Still, Hollywood is not the star’s only passion. When Banks played Marcela in the 2003 biographical sports drama Seabiscuit, the actress was already familiar with equestrian sports. As a child, Banks grew up riding horses in a small town in Western Massachusetts and was introduced to horse racing by her father. Today, Thoroughbred racing, and the Breeders Cup in particular, remains a Banks family favorite.

Catching Fire

Rob Dyrdek

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Follow @robdyrdek on Twitter

Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Ambassador

Professional skateboarder, actor, entrepreneur, and producer, Rob Dyrdek was introduced to horse racing by friend and longtime horse owner Joe Ciaglia Jr. in 2009. In typical Dyrdek style, his entry into the sport of Thoroughbred racing was unconventional to say the least. After purchasing his first horse, Mega Heat, Dyrdek jockeyed the gelding in his first race under the name “Bolt Speedman.” While the reality TV star has set 21 separate Guinness World Records, this was arguably one of his most unique adventures. Dyrdek raced 2011 Breeder’s Cup participant Weemissfrankie, named after actor and television director, Frank Alesia.

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Bo Derek

Bo -derek

Follow @BoDerek on Twitter

Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Ambassador

Bo Derek is a film and television actress, movie producer, model, horse owner and activist. Known for her role as Jenny Hanley in the 1979 comedy film, 10, Derek has also been active in the Animal Welfare Institute’s campaign to end horse slaughter through the passage of federal and statue legislation. In 2002, Derek published an autobiography entitled, “Riding Lessons: Everything That Matters in Life I Learned from Horses”. She currently serves on the California Horse Racing Board.  

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Toby Keith


Follow @tobykeithmusic on Twitter

Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Ambassador

2013 will not disappoint fans of country star Toby Keith, the CMA Male Vocalist of the Year nominee who is slated to appear in multiple national tours. When he’s not performing, he can be found spending time with his horses and studying racing pedigree. As owner of a 330-acre farm in Oklahoma, Keith keeps more than 100 mares and is active in sales. While he is involved in purchasing horses for both racing and resale, Keith’s passion for horse racing emanates from a love of animals. The horse racing community will always hold Keith in high esteem for breeding the undefeated juvenile graded stakes winner, Cactus Ridge.

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Wes Welker

Wes Welker

Follow @weswelker on Twitter

Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Ambassador

The first receiver in NFL history with at least three 110-reception seasons, and the first with five 100-reception seasons, Wes Welker probably will be the Denver Broncos most targeted receiver. During the offseason, Welker enjoys spending his time betting and watching races at various tracks around the country. After purchasing his first yearling, Nina Fever, Welker's interest in the sport only grew stronger. He has since bought into five other yearlings, one of which won its debut at Keeneland in April 2012. It didn't take long for Undrafted, Welker's first 2-year-old winner, to prove himself on the racetrack as Welker has on the football field.


Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin _Chenoweth

Follow @KChenoweth on Twitter

Performing at the Songs in the Saddle: The Infield Music Fest will be an all-day celebration that features a talented line-up of notable R&B, bluegrass and indie rock musicians. The event will support City of Hope and other charities chosen by the artists.

Kristin Chenoweth is a singer and accomplished actress on the big screen, television and Broadway. The Oklahoma native won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Sally in “You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown” and was nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Glinda in the musical hit “Wicked”. Chenoweth also won an Emmy Award in 2009 for Best Supporting Actress for her work on “Pushing Daisies” and has had a recurring role on the hit show “Glee”. Chenoweth, who earned a Master’s Degree in Opera Performance from Oklahoma City University, has completed three solo albums.

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Toni Braxton

Toni Braxton

Follow @tonibraxton on Twitter

Performing Songs in the Saddle: The Infield Music Fest will be an all-day celebration that features a talented line-up of notable R&B, bluegrass and indie rock musicians. The event will support City of Hope and other charities chosen by the artists.

R&B singer-songwriter Toni Braxton has won six Grammy Awards, seven American Music Awards, and nine Billboard Music Awards. Also an accomplished actress and record producer, Braxton probably is best known for the hits “Un-Break My Heart,” “You Mean the World to Me” and “Breathe Again.”

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Kenny Mayne

Mayne _Kenny

Follow @Kenny_Mayne on Twitter

Hosting the official welcome event of the World Championships will celebrate the 30th running of the Breeders’ Cup.

Kenny Mayne joined ESPN in May 1994, and recently was named a Los Angeles-based SportsCenter anchor. Mayne features an offbeat style and dry sense of humor in his work as a reporter and anchor.  A standout in the studio with his deadpan delivery, Mayne shines in funny features. His “The Mayne Event” segments on “Sunday NFL Countdown” have included segments on a fourth grader who wore a Brett Favre jersey for 600 days to making nachos with Martha Stewart for the Super Bowl XL pre-game show.

Joel Stein


Follow @thejoelstein on Twitter

Racing fan and special guest of America's Best Racing

Joel Stein Grew up in Edison, N.J., went to Stanford, and in 1997, became a staff writer for TIME. In 1998, he began writing his sophomoric humor column that now appears in the magazine every week. He’s also written 14 cover stories for TIME. Stein has contributed to The New Yorker, GQ, Esquire, Details, Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure, Businessweek, Wired, Real Simple, Sunset, Playboy, Elle, Los Angeles Times, and many more magazines. According to his bio, Stein has appeared as a talking head on any TV show that asks him. He also taught a class in humor writing at Princeton and wrote a weekly column for the back page of Entertainment Weekly.



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