• Frosted is pointing to the Breeders' Cup Classic, per his connections.Posted 1 day ago
  • Erupt (IRE) at 12-1 closes to win the $1,000,000 Pattison Canadian International (G1)Posted 4 days ago
  • Al's Gal (6-1) wins the head bob and the E. P. Taylor (G1) at WoodbinePosted 4 days ago
  • Blanket finish in the Nearctic (G2) at Woodbine goes to Calgary Cat (15-1)Posted 4 days ago
  • Arella Rockstar (12-1) upsets the Matron (G3) at Belmont Park.Posted 4 days ago
  • Time and Motion (3-1) wins a three-filly photo in the QE II Challenge Cup.Posted 5 days ago
  • Undefeated Theory (3-10) kicks away to a Futurity scorePosted 5 days ago
  • Almanzor turns away Found in the Group 1 British Champions Stakes.Posted 5 days ago
  • Minding better than the boys in the Queen Elizabeth II at Ascot.Posted 5 days ago
  • 2nd last year, Journey romps home in this year's Champions Day Fillies & Mares.Posted 5 days ago
Breeders Cup 2015

Conan O'Brien Leaves 'Em Laughing at Santa Anita

Conan O'Brien calls race at Santa Anita Park.
Photo: Santa Anita Park
In a performance that would have to be categorized as “Not yet ready for prime time,” late night funny man Conan O’Brien left ‘em laughing on Friday, as he put his oratorical stamp on Santa Anita’s second race, unwittingly cementing Trevor Denman’s status as Santa Anita’s race caller for generations to come.

A former writer for NBC’s Saturday Night Live, O’Brien currently hosts CONAN, which airs weeknights on TBS at 11 p.m.

“I actually called them all correctly getting into the gate, which I’m very proud of,” said O’Brien.  “Once the race started, there was some confusion…And, again, I have a complaint I would like to lodge against the Los Angeles Turf Club—which is, jockeys wearing similar colors.  If you’re going to have idiot celebrities come in and call a race, you can’t have two guys in all blue and two guys in all white, it’s not fair.

“That is my official complaint.  I’m also suing them.  It’s a class-action suit.”

Friday’s second race, run at a mile for 3-year-olds and up who were entered for a $12,500 claiming tag, was won by 8-1 longshot Knucklebuster, who bested five rivals to win by a half length under Agapito Delgadillo, who wore blue colors. 

“I memorized all the colors on the sides of the horses (numbered saddle cloths),” said O’Brien.  “Then, ten minutes before the race Trevor told me ‘No, that’s not how we do it.  We do it by their outfits (jockey silks).  So I had all these mnemonics set up for all of the horses and I had to completely forget everything.  It’s like being told seconds before the SAT that it will be in German.  So I was horrified…”

Denman, a South African native who has been at the Santa Anita microphone since the fall of 1983, oversaw O’Brien’s performance.  

“There’s one word to describe it—‘Unique,’” said Denman of O’Brien’s maiden voyage as a race caller.  “There will never be another one like this one, that’s for sure.  The whole world was listening and so, hey, let’s have some fun with it.  Conan seems like a fantastic guy and I really, really liked him.  He’s got no airs about him and he’s very funny.

“The bottom line is, we need to do things like this now and again.  We need to reach out to new people, to new audiences, and have fun.”

O’Brien’s “unique” Santa Anita safari will be featured soon on an upcoming episode of CONAN.

Trained by Jeff Bonde, Knucklebuster, who had a career record of one win from 10 starts coming into today, paid $18 to win.

Santa Anita will host the 30th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Nov. 1 & 2.



comments powered by Disqus

Related Pages

Top Stories