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Stewart: Marketing Breeders’

Normally, the month of October and the first week of November would keep Allen Gutterman plenty busy. He is the vice president in charge of marketing for Santa Anita Park as well as the Oak Tree meet, which is currently being run at the Arcadia racetrack.

Larry Stewart

Larry Stewart

But in recent weeks Gutterman has been really digging in. He is not only in charge of marketing the Oak Tree meet but working closely with Breeders’ Cup officials on the local marketing for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. “It’s a great opportunity for all of us,” he said.

The veteran Gutterman came to Santa Anita in October 2005 after six years at Hollywood Park, 15 with the Meadowlands Racetrack at the New Jersey Sports and Expo Authority and five years at New York Racing’s Belmont, Saratoga and Aqueduct racetracks. This is the second year in a row he has been involved in the local marketing of the Breeders’ Cup.

One major promotion, called “Heroes and Horses,” involves a salute and infield party for those who fought the recent fires in the nearby San Gabriel Mountains. All firefighters and emergency personnel and their families from a 10-county area of Southern California will be admitted free to the infield on Saturday, Breeders’ Cup Classic Day.

Allen Gutterman (left) and John Niedzwiedz of the Santa Anita Park marketing department. Photo by Larry Stewart.

Allen Gutterman (left) and John Niedzwiedz of the Santa Anita Park marketing department. Photo by Larry Stewart.

“I’m particularly excited this year because Oak Tree and the Breeders’ Cup have agreed to welcome the firefighters and emergency personnel who battled the blazes so close to here,” Gutterman said.

Sherwood “Chilly” Chillingworth, the head of the Oak Tree Racing Association, said: “We were all affected in some way by the magnitude of the Station Fire and we want to express our gratitude to these brave men and women and their families by inviting them to enjoy the races on the biggest day of the year here in our infield.”

For the infield party, Farmer John is supplying 4,000 hot dogs and Pepsi is contributing beverages for as many as 1,500, with a buffet luncheon provided by an outside caterer to be served from noon to 2 p.m. An on-air salute is being planned by ESPN and ABC, which are combining to televise the day’s races. ABC will show the first three races on Saturday, ESPN the rest.

Gutterman credited Oak Tree promotions manager John Niedzwiedz, and Tom Drayer, a deputy fire chief in charge of emergency personnel, for doing the heavy lifting on this event. “They are the point men on this,” Gutterman said.

Gutterman said a promotion with the California State Lottery that worked well last year was brought back this year with triple the prize money. The total is $230,000. Anyone who purchases a $5 Hot Spot ticket gets an entry coupon that gives them a number to use on the lottery’s website. The customer uses that number to get a quick-pick horse in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. Entries with the winning horse are put into a drawing. There will be one $50,000 winner, five $25,000 winners, 25 $1,000 winners, 175 $100 winners and 250 $50 winners. And, in a bonus drawing, there will be one winner of $1,000 plus four tickets to the VIP Trophy Lounge on Breeders’ Cup Classic Day.

Santa Anita, Oak Tree and Breeders’ Cup Ltd. have also teamed up with the Anaheim Ducks,, the Daily Racing Form, and Dos Equis on special discount ticket promotions.

Another promotion involves the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) providing bus shuttle service to Santa Anita from the Gold Line’s Sierra Madre Villa rail station in East Pasadena. Anyone showing the rail ticket upon entering Santa Anita will get a visor or baseball cap.

Working closely with horse owners Chuck Winner and David Beinstock, whose respective agencies provide advertising service to Santa Anita and the Oak Tree association, Gutterman is overseeing a major Breeders’ Cup advertising campaign that includes 330 sports on local broadcast television stations and 600 on 19 L.A.-area cable television systems leading up to the big days.

Reprinted with permission from Thoroughbred Times.


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