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Triple Crown updates
|Contacts: Eric Wing, NTRA (212) 907-9283
Bill Nader, NYRA (718) 641-4700
NYRA TO PARTNER WITH NTRA IN FINAL LEG OF IMUS IN THE MORNING TRIPLE CROWN PROMOTION
The New York Racing Association (NYRA) has joined the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) as a partner in its ongoing Triple Crown promotion on the nationally-syndicated "Imus in the Morning" radio program, which is also simulcast on the MSNBC cable television network.
In round one of the promotion, the NTRA made a $10,000 donation to the Imus Ranch in Ribero, N.M. where children with cancer and siblings of children who were victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome can experience life on a working cattle ranch. The donation was made in the name of Fred Imus, who bested his brother, program host Don Imus, in a Kentucky Derby contest.
In round two of the contest, the NTRA again put up $10,000 for the Imus Ranch, but rather than take on his brother again in a Preakness contest, Don Imus elected to have Mike Francesa, a popular sportstalk host at the "Imus in the Morning" flagship station WFAN in New York, make Preakness selections and then bet the $10,000 on those selections, with Imus guaranteeing the stake to the Ranch should the bets lose. Francesa then kicked in an additional $5,000 in guaranteed betting money for a total pre-Preakness bankroll of $15,000. Among the wagers placed by Francesa was a $5,000 win bet on eventual Preakness winner Point Given. When all the tickets had been cashed, the Imus Ranch money had grown from $15,000 to a total of $23,186.
For the third and final leg of the contest surrounding the June 9 Belmont Stakes, the NTRA will put up another $10,000, plus an additional $1,814, bringing the Imus Ranch bankroll to an even $35,000. Again, the Imus/Francesa team will be wagering the money on the Triple Crown race, and this time, the NTRA and NYRA will join forces to guarantee the $35,000 to the Ranch should the bets lose. In addition, it has been announced that Imus will contribute an extra $10,000, Francesa an extra $5,000, and well-known private investigator and frequent "Imus in the Morning" guest Bo Dietl an additional $50,000, bringing the Imus Ranch pot to $100,000 heading into the Belmont Stakes.
"We're delighted to team up with the New York Racing Association, Don Imus and everyone connected with the 'Imus in the Morning' program," said Keith Chamblin, vice president-marketing & industry relations for the NTRA. "This is excellent exposure nationwide for the 133rd Belmont Stakes and the entire Triple Crown series, and it's all being done for a terrific cause."
The "Imus in the Morning" radio program is broadcast weekday mornings in 77 markets in 33 states to an estimated 10 million listeners each day.
"This promotion has already generated a lot of buzz in New York, and we're excited to team up with the NTRA and help take it to another level for the Belmont Stakes," said Bill Nader, senior vice president of the NYRA. "Given Mike Francesa's handicapping prowess, I don't think we'll need to worry about covering any bets. But in the unlikely event that he should falter, we'll be there for the kids at the Imus Ranch."
The New York Racing Association Inc. is a private, non-profit racing association which owns and operates the three largest racetracks in New York-Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga. Barry K. Schwartz is the current Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Chief Executive Officer of the NYRA. More information is available at www.nyra.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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