In returning near Hollywood, the Breeders’ Cup has embraced the magnet of celebrity by starting an “ambassadors program.”
The inaugural group includes former Dodgers manager Joe Torre, actress Bo Derek, pro skateboarder Rob Dyrdek, sports talk host Jim Rome, singer Toby Keith and University of Louisville basketball Coach Rick Pitino.
The group, joined by celebrity cook Bobby Flay, actress Elizabeth Banks, actress/singer Laura Bell Bundy and New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, will serve as spokespersons for the Nov. 2-3 event at Santa Anita Park and help with promotion.
In exchange, they’ll receive invitations to horse racing throughout the world, concierge service and tickets.
Derek is a California Horse Racing Assn. commissioner. Torre is a part-owner of Breeders’ Cup Classic entrant Game On Dude, and a Flay-owned filly, More Than Real, won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf event in 2010.
Dyrdek, of MTV’s “Ridiculousness” and “Rob Dyrdek’s Fantasy Factory,” entered third-place finisher Weemissfrankie in last year’s Juvenile Fillies at Churchill Downs in Kentucky. Rome also owns thoroughbreds.
“The Breeders’ Cup is the pinnacle of thoroughbred horse racing competitions, and it’s an honor to serve with all of these fantastic ambassadors in sharing our passion and long history with the sport,” Flay said in a prepared statement.