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"BREEDERS' CUP CHALLENGE" FEATURING "WIN AND YOU'RE IN" TO LAUNCH IN 2007
Arlington Park to be Part of 24-Race Schedule on ESPN/ABC; Initiative Offers Automatic Berths In $20 Million Breeders’ Cup World Championships
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (October. 31, 2006) – Breeders’ Cup Limited and six of the nation’s premier racetracks, including Arlington Park, will launch a set of officially sanctioned Breeders’ Cup qualifying races in 2007, the Breeders’ Cup announced today. The new “Breeders’ Cup Challenge” will be highlighted by its “Win and You’re In” provision, with the winner of each of the 24 Challenge races automatically qualifying for the corresponding divisional race in the eight-race, $20 million Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The 2007 Breeders’ Cup will be held October 27 at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, NJ, and will be televised live on ESPN.
The Breeders’ Cup Challenge will be staged at Arlington Park on August 11, 2007, and will feature the Arlington Million, Beverly D. Stakes and Secretariat Stakes in a two-hour telecast on ESPN.
“We’re excited about highlighting our International Festival of Racing as part of the inaugural Breeders’ Cup Challenge,” said Arlington Park President Roy Arnold. “This partnership should make America’s two greatest days of international racing even better.”
"The Breeders' Cup Challenge creates a framework that will strengthen mainstream understanding of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and its position as the most important and prestigious day of racing," said Bill Farish, Chairman of Breeders' Cup Limited.
"Our partners at the Breeders' Cup are again in front of the field in developing another way to capture the casual fan and the horse racing aficionado. ESPN will use all its platforms to develop the summer and fall races that lead to the Breeders' Cup World Championships," said Len DeLuca, Senior Vice President, Programming and Acquisitions, ESPN.
"Win and You're In" officially sanctioned Breeders' Cup races is the most significant change in Breeders' Cup qualifying since the event's inception in 1984. Previously, Breeders' Cup selection was based on points earned in races throughout the year and via selection made by an international committee of racing experts.
"We have been working with our partners at ESPN throughout the past year to develop innovative ways to showcase the Breeders' Cup as the most important day of racing in the world," said Greg Avioli, CEO of Breeders' Cup Limited. "The Breeders' Cup Challenge will enhance our television presentation, broaden media coverage and extend the Breeders' Cup brand to many of the most prestigious races in our sport leading to the Championships."
Breeders' Cup Limited will support the new program with a multi-million dollar national marketing and promotional campaign that will launch in mid-summer 2007.
"We look forward to being part of the inaugural Breeders' Cup Challenge," said Craig Fravel, Executive Vice President of Del Mar Thoroughbred Club and Chairman of the NTRA. "We believe the 'Win and You're In' concept will resonate with racing fans and that our marquee events will have a higher profile as a result of our participation."
The following is the schedule for the 2007 Breeders' Cup Challenge, all times Eastern:
2007 Breeders' Cup Challenge
JULY 28, SARATOGA, ABC, 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Classic Division: Whitney Handicap
AUGUST 11, ARLINGTON PARK, ESPN, 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Turf Division: Arlington Million
AUGUST 19, DEL MAR, ESPN2, 7:00-8:00 P.M.
Classic Division: Pacific Classic
SEPTEMBER 30, BELMONT PARK, ESPN, 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Classic Division: Jockey Club Gold Cup
OCTOBER 6, KEENELAND, ESPN, 4:00-6:00 P.M.
Filly & Mare Turf Div. First Lady Stakes
OCTOBER 7, OAK TREE AT SANTA ANITA, ESPN2, 5:00-7:00 P.M.
Sprint Division: Ancient Title Handicap
OCTOBER 27, MONMOUTH PARK, ESPN, NOON-7:00 P.M.
$20 million Breeders' Cup World Championships
All times are Eastern time.
Arlington Park – the Chicago area’s premier Thoroughbred racetrack located in Arlington Heights, Ill. – completed its 95-day meet in 2006 on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Arlington Park, whose parent company is Churchill Downs Incorporated (Nasdaq: CHDN), also operates eight off-track, simulcast-wagering facilities: Trackside Arlington Park (Arlington Heights), Trackside Quad City Downs (East Moline), Trackside Chicago, Trackside McHenry, Trackside Rockford, Trackside South Beloit, Trackside Waukegan and Lucky’s featuring Trackside OTB in South Elgin. Information on Arlington Park can be found online at www.arlingtonpark.com.
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