At long last, the Breeders’ Cup debuts at Del Mar. Ambassador Bobby Flay gives us the inside track.
Ambassador Bobby Flay is serving up A-list bites for the guests to nosh on while they enjoy the racing weekend.
Noteworthy chefs dream up a myriad of eclectic, high-end, mind-blowing combinations that are relatively easy to sample and digest. But the pairing of Bobby Flay and thoroughbred horse racing might cause the uninitiated observer to roll the idea around his taste buds a few times before swallowing. Yet racing fan Flay was plucked from an exclusive menu to serve as a Breeders’ Cup celebrity ambassador at Del Mar (dmtc. com), that Southern California playground of the glitterati founded in 1937 by Bing Crosby, which will host the Breeders’ Cup for the first time on Nov. 3 and 4. The track is commonly known for its slogan “Where the turf meets the surf,” and Flay’s presence makes this surf-and-turf particularly delectable.
Del Mar’s first Breeders’ Cup is aiming to make a grand impression on SoCal.
How did your participation as a Breeders’ Cup celebrity ambassador come about? I was the initial person asked to start the ambassador program. The Breeders’ Cup is always looking for people who are influential and like racing to spread the word.
Why did you want to do this? It’s a wonderful experience. The Breeders’ Cup is the world championship. The atmosphere is electric. Whenever I introduce someone new to the Breeders’ Cup, they are hooked for good!
How did your interest in thoroughbred racing begin? My grandfather Willie Flay took me to Saratoga [Springs, N.Y.] when I was a teenager, and I knew from that day forward that I’d be involved forever.
Do you intend to incorporate your cooking expertise into the Breeders’ Cup weekend in some way? I created an event called Taste of the World. It celebrates cuisines from lots of different countries where the Breeders’ Cup horses come from. It’s a great way to ‘break bread’ the night before extreme competitions on the track.
Given the number of passionate fans in Southern California, is this area a special place to view racing? Del Mar is hosting its very first Breeders’ Cup, and everyone participating is excited beyond belief. We’ve had the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita many times, so now it’s Del Mar’s turn! We love all the tracks… the weather can’t be beat, and of course the celebrity environment is unequalled!