10/29/2013 3:40PM

Breeders' Cup: Rome is racing ambassador

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Benoit Photo
Jim Rome, shown with Mizdirection in 2011, has an ownership stake in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint's defending champion.

It takes a lot to make Jim Rome miss work, but the allure of the Breeders’ Cup is enough to make the 49-year-old sports-talk superstar take off Friday to be on hand at Santa Anita.

Rome owns a stake in Mizdirection, the defending champion in the $1 million BC Turf Sprint on Saturday. Mike Puype, the trainer of Mizdirection, said Rome will be here Friday and Saturday not only as a co-owner but as one of 15 Breeders’ Cup ambassadors who receive VIP treatment as they help to spread the word about horse racing to the world at large.

“Jim is freaky in love with this game,” Puype said. “With the huge audience he has, and as much time as he spends talking about racing on his shows, the sport is extremely fortunate to have him. He goes out and gives us all this free publicity and is completely genuine about it. It’s great.”

Rome is the longtime host of a syndicated radio show estimated to have 2.5 million daily listeners in the United States and Canada, as well as a CBS Sports television show that began last year.

[BREEDERS’ CUP 2013: Fields with DRF odds and comments]