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NTRA NATIONAL PICK 4 OFFERED SATURDAY ON EMIRATES AIRLINE SUPER SATURDAY RACES
The NTRA National Pick 4 wager, offered in conjunction with three of the “Emirates Airline Super Saturday” series installments airing on ESPN and ABC through October 1, will be available this Saturday, August 13, challenging fans to correctly select the winners of four graded stakes: the Grade I, $1,000,000 Arlington Million from Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.; the Grade I, $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes also from Arlington Park; the Grade I, $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap from Saratoga Racecourse in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.; and the Grade II, $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap from Saratoga. All races will air live Saturday on ABC from 4:00-6:00 p.m. (ET).
The NTRA National Pick 4 carries a $400,000 gross pool guarantee, has a $1.00 minimum wager amount and will be hubbed as a separate card event by Saratoga with a 25% takeout. To wager, fans should ask for “National Pick 4.” The first leg of the NTRA National Pick 4 will be the Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap, which has a scheduled post time of 4:15 p.m. (ET). The Vanderbilt will be followed in order by the Beverly D. (4:35 p.m. ET), the Sword Dancer Invitational (4:55 p.m. ET) and the Arlington Million (5:35 p.m. ET).
“We are again pleased to link a national wager with a prominent national telecast,” said Kenneth E. Kirchner, the NTRA’s senior vice president for product development. “This year’s first NTRA National Pick 4 linked to the Emirates Airline Super Saturday series on June 18 was very well received by fans, and the National Pick Four we offered last year on these same races handled $1,208,442. So with the promise of full, strong fields all around this weekend, we think customers will again find the wager highly attractive.”
ARLINGTON MILLION: Next to the $2 million John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf, the Arlington Million can be classified as America’s premier turf event as it traditionally attracts a stellar field of international stars, many of whom will later compete in the World Thoroughbred Championships. Heading this year’s list is the Dale Romans-trained Kitten’s Joy, the 2004 Eclipse Award winning male turf horse who won Churchill Downs’ Firecracker Breeders’ Cup Handicap last month, and the Aidan O’Brien-trained Powerscourt (GB), who finished first in last year’s Arlington Million, but was disqualified and placed fourth. Kitten’s Joy and Powerscourt were second and third, respectively, in last year’s John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf.
In addition to Kitten’s Joy, the other top American based contenders are Sweet Return, back-to-back winner of a pair of Grade I West coast races, the Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap and the Eddie Read Handicap, and Cool Conductor, who took the Arlington Handicap. Joining Powerscourt in making the trip from Europe are Touch of Land, and Alost (FR), both stakes winners overseas. The 1 ¼-miles race for horses three-and-up is part of the John Deere Turf Division.
SWORD DANCER INVITATIONAL HANDICAP: Saratoga’s top turf event, the 1 1/2-miles race for horses three-and-up is also part of the John Deere Turf Division and will be headed by Better Talk Now, winner of last year’s John Deere Breeders’ Cup Turf.
BEVERLY D. STAKES: Some of the best female turf horses in training will compete in the sister event to the Arlington Million. Heading the field will be the Bill Mott-trained Wend, winner of the New York Handicap in her last start. Among her foes will be the Bobby Frankel-trained three-year-old Melhor Ainda, who will take on her elders for the first time. Megahertz is another potent threat from the Frankel barn. The 1 3/16-miles event for fillies & mares three-and-up is part of the Emirates Airline Filly & Mare Turf Division.
ALFRED G. VANDERBILT HANDICAP: The six-furlong contest for horses three-and-up is part of the TVG Sprint Division. Smokume, trained by Hall of Famer Allen Jerkens and ridden by Chantal Sutherland, figures as the morning line favorite in a field that will include Kelly’s Landing, who broke the Churchill Downs track record for six furlongs in his last start.
An additional NTRA National Pick 4 wager will be offered during subsequent installments of the Emirates Airline Super Saturday Series on Saturday, October 1 (ESPN, 4:00-6:00 p.m. ET). An NTRA National Pick 4 Wager will also be offered in conjunction with NBC’s October 8 Breeders’ Cup Preview telecast (4:30-6:00 p.m.)
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders' Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $14 million in purses and awards and the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com
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