|Contact: Eric Wing (212)
FLORIDA DERBY TO BE TELEVISED ON SPORTSCENTER SATURDAY, MARCH 10
The $1,000,000 Florida Derby, a major prep race for the Kentucky Derby, will air during a special segment on SportsCenter Saturday, March 10, on ESPN2. Airtime for SportsCenter on March 10 is 6:00-7:00 p.m. (ET), with wire-to-wire coverage of the Florida Derby scheduled to be shown approximately one hour after the live running of the Grade I race for three-year-olds from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Fla.
The March 10 SportsCenter program on ESPN2 will be both preceded and followed by NCAA college basketball conference tournament games as part of "Championship Week." As previously scheduled, expanded coverage of the Florida Derby will also be shown on Sunday, March 11, during the "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby" live telecast of the Louisiana Derby from 4:30-5:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN2.
"We're very pleased that the NTRA and ESPN have arranged to provide fans same-day coverage of the Florida Derby," said Gulfstream Park chairman Doug Donn.
"Since the Magna Entertainment Corporation-owned tracks rejoined the NTRA, we have tried to explore and maximize all avenues for bringing their top racing events to our fans," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "We knew long ago that there were no live broadcast windows available for the Florida Derby due to college basketball's 'Championship Week' on the ESPN networks, so I want to thank ESPN and NTRA Productions for their hard work in making this happen. We're delighted to have achieved same-day television exposure for the Florida Derby and, at the same time, to have created a ratings bonanza for horseracing thanks to its presence on SportsCenter."
"We're thankful to ESPN for its continuing support and commitment to bringing the best of Thoroughbred racing to its viewers," said Jim Wilburn, president of NTRA Productions. "This ensures that, for the first time in many years, all major prep races for the Kentucky Derby are on one network."
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of Thoroughbred interests, which in addition to racetracks, includes owners, breeders, off-track betting organizations, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians and sales companies, among others. Through membership dues and funding from other horseracing interests, like the American Quarter Horse Association, the NTRA markets, advertises, promotes and televises horseracing in North America, and also serves as a catalyst for industry-wide programs benefiting members in group purchasing, telecommunications and technology, consumer research and legislative initiatives. As part of its mission to build positive public awareness of Thoroughbred racing and expand opportunities for enhancement of the Thoroughbred industry, the NTRA conducts the Breeders' Cup Championship-Thoroughbred racing's year-end showcase consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, as well as the National Stakes Program, worth millions in combined purses from Breeders' Cup and participating racetracks. The industry's breeders and owners fund purses for the Breeders' Cup Championship. With the National Turf Writers Association and Daily Racing Form, the NTRA also presents the Eclipse Awards, the annual awards recognizing excellence in Thoroughbred racing. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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