The day dawns clear and bright for the 20th anniversary celebration.

The day dawns clear and bright for the 20th anniversary celebration.

Mike Corrado

Sun Shining Bright at Santa Anita for Breeders' Cup

The sun is shining brightly on Santa Anita as the early post time for the first race on the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships approaches. With the races in California, the television viewing time necessitates the first Breeders' Cup post time be 10:20 P.D.T.

Officials are expecting a crowd in excess of 50,000 as Santa Anita plays host to the event for the third time. It was previously held at the track in 1993 and 1986.

This will be the warmest running at Santa Anita, the temperature 73 degrees in 1986 and 81 degrees in 1993. The forecast for today calls for the temperature to climb over 90 degrees.

Fires in the area clouded the view of the San Gabriel Mountains on Friday but were nearly dissipated by race time on Saturday. The majestic mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop to Santa Anita.

The day began with brief remarks from D.G. Van Clief Jr., president of Breeders' Cup, and Sherwood Chillingworth, executive vice president of the Oak Tree Racing Association. The races are being held during the Oak Tree meeting at Santa Anita.

The racing fans were enthusiastic as the jockeys riding in the Breeders' Cup races were introduced. Local favorites, like Julie Krone, Corey Nakatani, and Alex Solis, received rousing ovations.

Fans were anxious to get the races started with several championships on the line including Horse of the Year honors. The gates opened at 7:30 and cars were in line at every parking entrance when the lots opened a half hour before that.