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|Contacts: Eric Wing, NTRA (917) 930-9772
Jerry Caraccioli, CBS Sports (212) 975-7466
ALBERT THE GREAT, APTITUDE TAKE "NTRA CHAMPIONS" RACES, ALBERT THE GREAT AND INCLUDE TIED FOR SERIES LEAD
Albert the Great's two-length win in today's Grade II, $500,000 Suburban Handicap at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., earned him six NTRA Champions points in the series' Classic division standings and put him in a tie for the series lead with Include, who finished third behind Albert the Great in the Suburban. Both Albert the Great and Include now have 24 series points.
In the Grade I, $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup at Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif., Aptitude's win via disqualification earned him 10 points, giving him a total of 12 for the series. The series reaches its grand finale on July 28 (CBS, 3:00-4:00 p.m. ET) with the Grade I, $750,000 Whitney Handicap from Saratoga Racecourse in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. With a victory in the Whitney, Albert the Great or Include would win a bonus of $270,000 based on points accumulated to date. With the first-place share of the $750,000 Whitney Handicap purseworth $450,000, a win by Albert the Great or Include would mean a total payday for either horse of $720,000. Though first place in the series is out of reach for Aptitude, he could still win $110,000 in bonus money for winning the Whitney.
The "NTRA Champions" series features 11 key races in Classic (dirt) and Turf division horseracing in the United States. The four-program, five-hour series will include total purse offerings of $5,150,000 plus bonus money for those competing in the Classic division.
Current "NTRA Champions" series points standings (through races of 7/1/01)
Bonus money at stake should one of the following horses win the Whitney
H'cap (worth 10 points)
The complete series schedule is as follows (all times Eastern):
Date Races Racetrack Grade/Dist./Surface Airtime (ET)
6/10 $500,000 The Californian* Hollywood Park Gr. II, 1
1/8 mi., dirt 4:00-5:00 p.m.
6/16 $750,000 Stephen Foster H'cap* Churchill Downs Gr. II, 1
1/8 mi., dirt 4:30-6:00 p.m.
7/1 $750,000 Hollywood Gold Cup* Hollywood Park Gr. I, 1¼ mi., dirt 4:30-6:00 p.m.
7/28 $750,000 Whitney Handicap* Saratoga Gr. I, 1 1/8 mi., dirt 3:00-4:00 p.m.
* - top three finishers to earn "NTRA Champions" series bonus points
The "NTRA Champions" bonus program offers:
Finishing first in the Whitney: Bonus points X $5,000
The bonus point structure for all "NTRA Champions" series races is as follows:
Grade I: 10 points for finishing first, 6 points for finishing second, 4
points for third.
Other races that qualify for "NTRA Champions" series bonus points:
Jan. 13 $250,000 San Fernando Breeders' Cup Handicap (Gr. II), Santa Anita Park
Feb. 3 $500,000 Donn Handicap (Gr. I), Gulfstream Park
Feb. 3 $500,000 Strub Stakes (Gr. II), Santa Anita Park
Feb. 4 $300,000 San Antonio Handicap (Gr. II), Santa Anita Park
Mar. 3 $1,000,000 Santa Anita Handicap (Gr. I), Santa Anita Park
Mar. 4 $500,000 New Orleans Handicap (Gr. II), Fair Grounds
Apr. 7 $600,000 Oaklawn Handicap (Gr. I), Oaklawn Park
Apr. 28 $300,000 Texas Mile Stakes (Gr. III), Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
May 12 $750,000 Pimlico Special (Gr. I), Pimlico
May 19 $500,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup (Gr. II), Hawthorne
May 28 $300,000 Lone Star Park Handicap (Gr. III), Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie
May 28 $750,000 Metropolitan Handicap (Gr. I), Belmont Park
June 2 $500,000 Massachusetts Handicap (Gr. II), Suffolk Downs
July 7 $400,000 Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup H'cap (Gr. III), Prairie Meadows
July 21 $400,000 Washington Park Handicap (Gr. II), Arlington Park
Last year's running of the Whitney Stakes featured a memorable two-length victory by Lemon Drop Kid over such top horses as Cat Thief, Behrens, Running Stag and Golden Missile. Lemon Drop Kid would go on to win a 2000 Eclipse Award as Champion Older Male. In 1999, Victory Gallop also used a victory in the Whitney as a springboard to an Eclipse Award as Champion Older Male. In 1998, Awesome Again took the Whitney in a campaign that ended with a win in the Breeders' Cup Classic.
CBS Sports broadcast the Arlington Citation Challenge in 1996 and the Grade I Go For Wand Handicap, the Grade I Caesars International Handicap and the Grade II Reeve Schley Jr. Stakes in 1994. CBS Sports has also broadcast the Belmont Stakes, the Travers Stakes, the Woodward Stakes, the Jockey Club Gold Cup and the Marlboro Cup.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing awareness of Thoroughbred racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA also conducts the Breeders' Cup, Thoroughbred racing's year-end Championship consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, and the Breeders' Cup National Stakes Program, which are funded by the industry's owners and breeders. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. A compendium of NTRA press releases appears on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup Championship, breederscup.com. Contact the NTRA at email@example.com.
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