Santa Anita is holding its 10th annual “Uncorked” event at the track to support local charities especially CARMA, the non-profit organization that supports and rehabilitates retired thoroughbreds when their racing careers are over. The wine and food tasting event has been held annually since 2008 and regularly sells out although walk-ups are accommodated when additional tickets are available.
The $60 ticket includes parking, Club House admission, a race program, a souvenir wine glass, seating (table or theater style), wine tasting (about 50 different wines) and tastes from some of the San Gabriel Valley’s best restaurants. Tickets are available at the track’s website Santa Anita Events and Tickets by clicking on the orange horse’s head poster.
The food tastings are from some of the best restaurants in the area. This year they include Café Mundial and Craft Hill from Monrovia, The Derby and Benihana from Arcadia, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse and Il Fornaio from Pasadena along with about 14 additional eateries.
The festivities begin just before noon with an exclusive art exhibit and silent auction followed by the Thoroughbred races beginning at noon and running throughout the afternoon.
Candace Shew, member of the CARMA board and organizer of the event noted, without Paul Kalemkarian of Wine of the Month Club, the event would not be the same. After calling Kalemkarian the “wine guru” behind “Uncorked,” she said “He brings some of his favorite wines and his crew, giving sage advice and answering questions throughout the event.”
This event provides funding to several charities in the community, the most prominent one is CARMA, the California racing industry’s funding and awareness charity for retired racehorses. CARMA gets most of its funding from the horse owners and from the race tracks in California, but this and a select few events throughout the year also bring attention to the work the groups does to fund the rehabilitation of these retirees.
Shew said, “As an organization, we work to find the programs and facilities best suited to individual horses. Some can be retrained for dressage or horses just for trail riding, others work best as jumpers, and others are just allowed to retire.” She explained that CARMA does not rehabilitate the horses itself, but rather is the funding arm for the facilities that do this work.
Saturday will be a day to enjoy wine and watching the horses run at one of the most beautiful race tracks in the nation, all the while knowing that they are helping other such athletes retire comfortably.