Tony Bennett meetup @ Breeders’ Cup (AKA “S.F values”)

We had a blast at the Breeders’ Cup at Santa Anita racetrack in L.A. this weekend. We cashed enough winning tickets to pay for a dinner (one of the nights) and parking (both days).

We also had good box seats near the finish line, as well as a pass to the paddock. Waitresses were milling around offering glasses of champagne “on the house” as part of a promotion.

The paddock allowed us to check out the horses up-close for handicapping, and hob-knob with some horsemen and celebrities. I like to watch the horses being saddled and follow them into the paddock.

Gov. Brown and Tony “I left my heart in S.F.” Bennett were on hand to present the winning trophy at the feature race, and we could easily see them from our seats.

We also celebrated “S.F. values” on the way out, hooking up with Bennett and getting his autograph. We managed to get inside an inner circle for a few minutes (very tight security). I thanked Tony for singing at the World Series in San Francisco. He was gracious and chatted with us.

One man was frustrated that he didn’t get chosen for an autograph (they only allowed two), so he asked to photograph the one that my wife got with his iPhone. She held it up for him while he snapped away.

Smartphones were ubiquitous, but the wifi service was spotty.

Some text messages popped onto our phone on the way out, and my sister-in-law sent one that she saw us on TV, walking away from the paddock toward the track. I remember seeing the guy with his NBC camera pointed at us, so I just waived.

The autographs shown are Tony Bennett and Laffit Pincay Jr., a legendary jockey. The iPhone video is where we spotted Bennett, exiting a golf cart while exiting the track after the last race. Smartphones are a hoot.

About jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for years, was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News, and was Editor of The Union, a 145-year-old newspaper in Grass Valley. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing and trout fishing.
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