The pressure's on now, isn't it? If not for a certain Southern California horse then for his fans, the very fans who'd like to see their mane guy take the Triple Crown of thoroughbred horse racing.
So what can those fans do to cheer on California Chrome as the winner of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes makes his run for glory at the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 7? Gather together while flaunting some extraordinary and outlandish hats, of course.
Nope, we're pretty sure that California Chrome won't know that his local legion of supporters will be decked out in fancy chapeaux and handsome bow ties as they party at Santa Anita Park, but we're fingers-crossing so hard that the whimsy of the day carries the double-C to his third winner's garland of the top-level racing season.
The historic Arcadia track will once again make the day about the big race and the local-horse-gone-huge. For sure, head for the stands if that's your scene, or, if you want to go posher, make for the Chandelier Room, where Belmont Stakes-style hats and dress are the order of the day.
As are elegant edibles. "The ultimate viewing party for Southern California locals" will feature the foodly arts of some Osteria Mozza chef alums -- mmm, Italian-modern-California goodness -- and cocktails, too. Cost? One hundred and fifty bucks.
You're doing it up, dress-wise, right? You can't walk in hat-less, so take the days ahead of the Belmont Stakes to really trick out that brim. A few horsey motifs, perhaps, or a silver theme, to reflect the "Chrome" in our hometown pony's shiny handle? Go all out, Chrome cheerleaders.
For info on the action in the stands -- live music awaits -- and all the June 7 happenings in the park's Chandelier Room, trot this way.