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Breeders' Cup underway at Santa Anita Park

It's off to the races as Santa Anita Park kicks off the 30th Breeders' Cup World Championship series Friday.
November 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
It's off to the races as Santa Anita Park kicks off the 30th Breeders' Cup World Championship series Friday.

The two-day event in Arcadia invites people to place bets on some of the fastest horses around.

People from all over the world turn out to the premier event in horse racing, donning their fanciest hat.

Christine Moore is the the official milliner of the 2013 Breeders' Cup. While some see a racetrack, Moore sees a runway.

"The history of the big hat is really just about fashion, entertaining the ladies while the men are placing their bets and watching the horses," said Moore.

Her hats will be worn and sold throughout the track Friday and Saturday.

Trainers and jockeys were on the race track as early as 5 a.m., exercising their horses for the event which began in 1984.

Twenty-nine years and 253 Champions later, the event is still buzzing with great entertainment, outfits and parties.

More than 80,000 people are expected to attend the races this weekend.

Officials say the event is the richest two days in sports. In all races combined, the purses amount to over $27 million.

Jockey Aaron Gryder won the Breeders' Cup Championship race in 2013. He says he and his horse Commander have been looking forward to the event all year.

"We compete all yearlong hoping to land a mount on this day. Some riders have one mount, some riders have up to 13 mounts over the weekend," said Gryder. "We're all excited. This is where champions are made."

The 43-year-old grew up near Santa Anita Park around grandparents who were racing fans.

"I grew up sitting in the infield when I was three or four with my grandparents and it's so great to be on this side of the fence and be riding these horses," said Gryder.

The first race at the Breeders' Cup kicks off at 1:45 p.m.

For more information on the event, visit www.breederscup.com.

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