BREEDERS' CUP NOTES
|Contact: Jim Gluckson (NTRA) 917-822-4799
Darren Rogers (LSP) 972-237-1140
LONE STAR PARK TO HOST 2004 BREEDERS' CUP WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS
First Time $13 Million International Horseracing Showcase Comes to Texas
Officials of Breeders' Cup Limited and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) have completed negotiations and will sign a contract with Lone Star Park and Magna Entertainment Corporation (MEC) to hold the 2004 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships at Lone Star Park in the Dallas-Forth Worth suburb of Grand Prairie, Texas.
The 21st running of the Breeders' Cup, consisting of eight races with purses and awards totaling $13 million, will be run next year on Saturday, October 30, 2004, and will be televised live by NBC Sports.
This will be the first time that Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie will host the Breeders' Cup and the first time that the event will be held in the Texas and the Southwest.
"We are delighted to make it official that the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships are coming to Grand Prairie, Texas and Lone Star Park next year," said D.G. Van Clief, Jr., Breeders' Cup president and NTRA vice chairman. "The Dallas-Fort Worth area is one the nation's great sports markets and Lone Star Park has done an excellent job of establishing first class racing there. We look forward to working with the Lone Star/Magna team.
"We also want to salute Governor Rick Perry, members of the Texas State Legislature, Grand Prairie Mayor Charles England, and the Texas Racing Commission for supporting next year's Championships."
During its 19-year history, the Breeders' Cup has been held at Arlington Park in Illinois, Aqueduct Racetrack and Belmont Park in New York, Churchill Downs in Kentucky, Hollywood Park and Santa Anita Park in California, Gulfstream Park in Florida and Woodbine Racetrack in Ontario, Canada. This year's Breeders' Cup will be run on October 25 during the Oak Tree Meeting at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., making the event's third visit to Santa Anita.
"The signing of this agreement represents a true team effort with virtually thousands of Texans involved, including the Governor," said Corey Johnsen, President of Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie and MEC Group Vice President. "There is tremendous enthusiasm in the Lone Star state surrounding this championship event, and we're very excited to showcase horseracing in Texas to a worldwide audience."
Opened in 1997, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie has become one of North America's most successful new racing facilities, quickly establishing a national reputation for high-quality racing, progressive marketing and superior customer service for its customers. The racetrack will hold its Thoroughbred meeting from April 3-July 13, highlighted by the $300,000 Texas Mile on April 26, $500,000 Lone Star Derby for 3-year-olds on May 10, Lone Star Million -- seven stakes races totaling $1 million -- on May 26, and the NTRA All-Star Jockey Championship on June 20.
MEC, North America's number one owner and operator of Thoroughbred racetracks, acquires, develops and operates horse racetracks and related pari-mutuel wagering operations including off-track betting facilities. Additionally, MEC owns and operates XpressBet™, a national Internet and telephone account wagering system, and HorseRacing TV™, a 24-hour horse racing television network.
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 administer the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, the Breeders' Cup Stakes Program and the Great State Challenge. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, www.ntra.com.
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