A Santa Anita Celebrity Trifecta That Can Always Be Counted On for Laughs

Santa Anita Park is doing a lot to raise the profile of its annual Breeder’s Cup races kicking off tomorrow. Per an article in the Pasadena Star-News by Brenda Gazzar, they’ve got Tony Bennett singing Saturday before the big $5 million race and a host of new celebrity supporters across the country.


But in terms of old school PR, Santa Anita has for years been able to count on the all-star comedy stable of Mel Brooks, his close friend Dick Van Patten and the Conway family duo of Tim and Tim Jr. Among the memorable anecdotes in Gazzar’s piece is this one, about a father passing on some life skills:

After returning from a day at the races with his father, Conway Jr. improvised a Show and Tell [at Encino Elementary] by teaching his classmates how to “box an exacta.”

When the Encino school’s principal told Conway Sr. it was “borderline child abuse” to teach a kid to gamble, he deadpanned: “Let me tell you what child abuse is. A kid picks horses 3 and 5, it comes in 5-3 and he doesn’t have it boxed and loses. “That’s child abuse.”

Ha ha. They sure don’t make retorts like that anymore. Can you imagine the Twitter outrage and blustery cable news op eds that would kick up today if a Charlie Sheen or Ben Stiller did something similar? Tim Conway Jr. turned out just fine, after all.

@hollywoodspin rhorgan@gmail.com Richard Horgan is co-editor of Fishbowl.
Publish date: November 1, 2012 https://dev.adweek.com/digital/santa-anita-park-breeders-cup-mel-brooks-dick-van-patten-tim-conway-jr-tony-bennett/ © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT