|Contact: Jim Gluckson, NTRA (212) 907-9280
Jeff Shapes, Conover Tuttle (203) 249-9202
OPENING DAY ACTION FROM OAK TREE MEET SET FOR SUNDAY’S “ROAD TO THE WORLD THOROUGHBRED CHAMPIONSHIPS - POWERED BY DODGE” ON ESPN
WHAT: With the 20th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships only a month away, Sunday’s “Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships - Powered by Dodge” pays a visit to the site of this year’s Championship day of racing, Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., for opening day of the Oak Tree meet. On tap is live coverage of two key Breeders’ Cup prep races and same-day coverage of a third. Also scheduled is taped coverage of another key Breeders’ Cup prep from Hawthorne Race Course outside Chicago. All the action is on ESPN.
WHEN: Sunday, September 28, 6:00-7:00 p.m. (ET) on ESPN.
RACES: Highlighting Sunday’s telecast is live coverage of the Grade I $500,000 Yellow Ribbon Invitational Stakes, a 1¼-mile turf feature that is part of the Filly & Mare Turf Division; and the Grade II, $300,000 Lady’s Secret Breeders’ Cup Handicap, a 1 1/16-miles race (Nextel Distaff Division). Also to be shown will be the Grade I, $250,000 Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship, a 1¼-miles grass race (John Deere Turf Division). Presented on tape will be the Grade II, $750,000 Hawthorne Gold Cup, a 1¼-miles fixture (Breeders’ Cup Classic Division – Powered by Dodge.)
KEY HORSES: 2002 Horse of the Year Azeri, winner of 11 straight and 14 of 15 career starts, returns to action in the Lady’s Secret, a race she won convincingly on her way to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Distaff. Also slated to run are Elloluv, Adoration, Got Koko, Royally Chosen and Tropical Blossom.
The Yellow Ribbon will feature Tates Creek, Cassis, Magic Mission, Musical Chimes and Red Rioja.
Storming Home (GB), who crossed the finish line first in last month’s Arlington Million, but was disqualified and placed fourth, heads the field in the Clement Hirsch. Johar will challenge him.
Multiple Grade I winner Perfect Drift, who won the Kentucky Cup Classic earlier this month, should be a solid favorite in the Hawthorne Gold Cup, with the stiffest opposition coming from Tenpins.
ANNOUNCERS: Kenny Rice, Randy Moss and Jay Privman.
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 $14 million in purses and awards and the Breeders’ Cup Stakes Program. 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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