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"CITGO RACING TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY" KICKS OFF ON ESPN WITH SATURDAY'S FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH STAKES; NINE-PROGRAM SERIES TO PRESENT MAJOR DERBY PREPS
With the 2002 Kentucky Derby only 11 weeks away, "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," a nine-show series on the ESPN networks produced by NTRA Productions, kicks off Saturday with the Grade I, $200,000 Fountain of Youth Stakes from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla. The 1 1/16-mile Fountain of Youth, which brings together some of the top three-year-olds in training, will be shown on tape delay on ESPN from 6:00-6:30 p.m. (ET).
Fountain of Youth winners have accounted for four Kentucky Derbys -- Thunder Gulch (1995), Spectacular Bid (1979), Kauai King (1966) and Tim Tam (1958) -- since the race was first run in 1945. Along with being a Triple Crown stepping stone, the race also serves as a major prep for next month's Florida Derby. A field of between eight and 10 horses is expected, with likely starters including Holy Bull Stakes winner Booklet, who is trained by John Ward, conditioner of 2001 Kentucky Derby winner Monarchos; Maybry's Boy, Harlan's Holiday, Blue Burner, Grey Beard, Stephentown, Speed Hunter and Political Attack.
Hosting the telecast will be Jeff Medders, with analyst Randy Moss and reporter Jeannine Edwards.
"'Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby' will provide the most comprehensive TV coverage of the major Derby preps ever," said Tim Smith, Commissioner and CEO of the National Thoroughbred Racing Association.
CITGO RACING TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY (all times Eastern, schedule subject to change)
2/16 ESPN 6:00-6:30 p.m. Fountain of Youth Gulfstream Park/Hallandale, FL
3/10 ESPN2 8:00-9:00 p.m. Louisiana Derby Fair Grounds/New Orleans
3/16 ESPN 5:00-6:00 p.m. Florida Derby Gulfstream Park/Hallandale, FL
3/17 ESPN2 4:00-5:00 p.m. Gotham Stakes Aqueduct/New York
3/23 ESPN2 6:30-7:30 p.m. Lane's End Spiral St. Turfway Park/Florence, KY
4/6 ESPN 5:00-6:00 p.m. Santa Anita Derby Santa Anita/Arcadia, CA
4/13 ESPN 3:30-4:30 p.m. Wood Memorial Aqueduct/New York
4/20 ESPN2 6:00-7:00 p.m. Coolmore Lexington St. Keeneland/Lexington, KY
4/28 ESPN2 2:00-3:00 p.m. Triple Crown Special Studio Show/Tulsa, OK
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 Championship consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, and 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, and at the Web site for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, breederscup.com. Contact the NTRA at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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