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38th Breeders' Cup returns to Del Mar Racetrack

Breeders' Cup 2021.jpg
Melissa Mae
/
KPBS
A Breeders' Cup statue of a horse surrounded by flowers at the Del Mar Racetrack on Nov. 5, 2021.

The Breeders’ Cup kicks off on Friday at the Del Mar Racetrack. This two-day event brings people and horses from all over the world to experience the 38th Breeders’ Cup.

“The Super Bowl of horse racing, the Breeders’ Cup, is at Del Mar this year for only the second time," Bill Strauss said. "And I can’t believe it’s in our backyard again!”

Strauss is the owner of Hot Rod Charlie, the winner of the Pennsylvania and Louisiana derbies, and is competing in the $6 million Longines Breeders’ Cup Classic, the biggest race of the Cup.

“Having it here, my own normal routine, all my friends coming in from all over the country to share the moment and they get to experience both my lifestyle here as well as Hot Rod Charlie,” he said. “It could not be any better. It’s more than a dream come true.”

Strauss knows there are controversies about the sport, but assures the public that horses are treated like royalty.

“Horses get treated better than I do,” he said. “I wish my wife would treat me as well as our horses get treated! They get bathed. They get taken care of. They’re pampered. They have full-time help with them.”

38th Breeders' Cup returns to Del Mar Racetrack

While attendees watch the best horses competing on the track, they can enjoy delicious food throughout the venue.

Barry Schneider has been preparing for this event since last March. He's the executive chef for ASM Global and Premiere Food Services.

“We try to use a lot of our local vendors and try to get the freshest ingredients possible," Schneider said. "And I try to shop within 20 miles of the racetrack as much as I can.”

Besides using local cuisine, Schneider describes how this international event helps the local economy.

“I think it’s very important for the community. It’s very important for the local vendors. It’s very important for the over one thousand people we’re employing today as a company,” he said, “It’s great for the economy and it’s just an amazing event. It’s really good for the locals in Del Mar, great for the hotel and tourism industry as a whole.”

About 30,000 attendees are expected at the Breeders’ Cup on both Friday and Saturday.

Breeders' Cup attendee with Breeders' Cup jacket on.jpg
Melissa Mae
A Breeders' Cup attendee wearing a Breeders' Cup jacket with several horse racing patches on it at the Del Mar Racetrack on Nov. 5, 2021.