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|Contacts: Eric Wing, NTRA (212) 907-9283
Jerry Caraccioli, CBS Sports (212) 975-7466
"NTRA CHAMPIONS" SERIES TO LAUNCH JUNE 10 ON CBS SPORTS
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and CBS Sports today announced the 2001 schedule for the "NTRA Champions" series, featuring 11 key races in Classic (dirt) and Turf division horseracing in the United States. The four-program, five-hour series will be broadcast over a seven-week period during the months of June and July, and will include total purse offerings of $5,050,000 plus bonus money for those competing in the Classic division. Production support for the series will be provided by NTRA Productions.
"We are delighted to welcome CBS Sports back to horseracing, where it has such a distinguished history," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "The series will include some of our best athletes at important, live races and will cover the Classic and Turf divisions with rankings, updates and highlights."
"CBS Sports is proud to be televising horseracing once again," said Rob Correa, Senior Vice President, Programming, CBS Sports. "Our viewers will be treated to the sport's best horses battling for lucrative purses and NTRA bonus money at top tracks like Hollywood Park, Belmont Park, Churchill Downs and Saratoga, and they'll also see an assortment of top turf events from such outstanding venues as Arlington Park, Monmouth Park and Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie."
* - 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
Current "NTRA Champions" series points standings (as of 5/29/01)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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