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Jerry Caraccioli, CBS Sports (212) 975-7466
ANNOUNCERS SET FOR "NTRA CHAMPIONS" SERIES ON CBS SPORTS
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) and CBS Sports today announced the on-air team for the "NTRA Champions" series, which gets underway June 10 and features 11 key races in Classic (dirt) and Turf division horseracing in the United States. The four-program, five-hour series will be hosted by popular racing commentator Dave Johnson. He will be joined by analyst Randy Moss, reporters Lesley Visser and Gary Seibel and field reporter Caton Bredar, who will be stationed at series racetracks not serving as origination points for the telecasts. The 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.
"I consider myself a fan first and a broadcaster second, so I am especially delighted to be a part of the 'NTRA Champions' series which will bring so many great races to fans across the country on CBS Sports," said Dave Johnson.
The complete series schedule is as follows (all times Eastern):
* - top three finishers to earn "NTRA Champions" series bonus points
Dave Johnson, a top racecaller and broadcast analyst for Thoroughbred racing, served on the ABC Sports horseracing broadcast team from 1987-2000. This year, he called the Kentucky Derby and Preakness on nationwide radio. Johnson has also served as host of several ESPN racing series including "Racing Across America" and "Racing to the Breeders' Cup." He was the voice of New York racing from 1971-77, when he was the racecaller at Aqueduct, Belmont Park and Saratoga and has also called races at Santa Anita Park and the Meadowlands, among others.
Randy Moss is a regular member of the ESPN horseracing team and is known as one of the foremost handicappers in the country. Prior to joining ESPN, Moss was a racing reporter for the Arkansas Democrat, the Dallas Morning News and the Fort Worth Star Telegram. He also is a member of the Beyer Speed Figure team, computing speed ratings for horses in the Southwestern region of the country.
Lesley Visser, a pioneer among women sports journalists, has covered everything from the Super Bowl to U.S. Open tennis to the NCAA Final Four for a variety of newspapers and television networks. Visser has also been a regular contributor to Kentucky Derby, Preakness, Belmont Stakes and other horseracing programming on ABC and ESPN. She has received several honors, including the Outstanding Woman Sportswriter in America award in 1983, and the Women`s Sports Foundation`s journalism award in 1992.
Gary Seibel is a veteran racing reporter who currently works for both ESPN and TVG. Seibel previously worked for CBS Sports, co-hosting network telecasts of the Hambletonian, harness racing's premier race, and serving as the play-by-play broadcaster for the Pro Bowlers Tour.
The granddaughter of Hall of Fame jockey Ted Atkinson and the daughter of a trainer, Caton Bredar has spent her entire life around horses. Bredar is an anchor on TVG and has been a frequent contributor on ESPN horseracing coverage. In 1999-2000, Bredar served as a reporter on FOX`s "NTRA Champions on Fox" racing series.
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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