Chicago Barn to Wire


Sportsman's Park Daily Notebook

Contact: David Zenner (773) 242-1121 ext. 310

Friday, March 1, 2002
1st Day of a 46-day Meet


When "Post Time at Sportsman's" premieres on FOX Sports Net Chicago Friday afternoon, the show promises to be more than just a "nuts-and-bolts" racing replay show. While the replays of the day's races will provide the backbone of the half-hour production, other segments of the show will focus on handicapping, news and notes from around the racing world, personalities, education, the Road to the Triple Crown and a play of the day.

"My goal is to take this racing show to the next level," said Joe Kristufek, the show's host and producer. "I am dedicated to the challenge of making the program more educational and interactive for a broader audience. The spring season is the most exciting time in horse racing. As the 3-year-olds prepare for the Illinois Derby at Sportsman's and eventually the Kentucky Derby, we'll be with them every step of the way on Post Time at Sportsman's."

Kristufek will be joined on-air by a talented team of racing and broadcasting professionals led by Tom Shaer, the former NBC-5 sportscaster; track announcer John G. Dooley, trainer Liane Davis and handicapper Dave Gutfreund.

Gutfreund, known throughout horse racing circles as "The Thoroughbred Maven," will appear on the show four days a week, Friday through Monday, with a "Power Play" for the following day's races. Sportsman's Park is giving Gutfreund $50 a day to wager on his "Power Play" with the entire proceeds from any winnings being donated by Sportsman's Park to the Racing Industry Charitable Foundation (RICF).

The Racing Industry Charitable Foundation has provided Illinois horsemen and their families with social and medical support programs since 1979. The RICF is funded in a great part by monies generated by racetracks and disseminated through the Illinois Racing Board.

The RICF provides on-site medical, dental, social services, licensed outpatient substance abuse treatment, community health programs, public health screenings, educational programs for both adults and children, drug prevention programs, health fairs and outreach programs.

Each year, however, the RICF must spend $200,000 beyond the principle-funding source. Events like the charity golf outing and the annual racing awards dinner gala fund the important and necessary additional services with much of that money earmarked to send children to summer camp and provided them with holiday parties.

Though Gutfreund is a veteran of handicapping tournaments nationwide, he says he feels an extra bit of pressure knowing his picks are on the line for charity.

"I feel pressure not only because the proceeds from any winnings I accumulate are going to a worthy cause like the RICF," said Gutfreund, "but also because I am sticking my neck out there every day. No matter how good a handicapper anyone is, they are bound to go through a stretch of four or five days in a row without their best bet winning. I just hope I don't have three such stretches.

"In addition to donating having the proceeds donated to charity," he continued, "I hope to be able to offer good handicapping advice and education as part of the daily segment."

Gutfreund will also join Kristufek for the "Weekend Stakes Update" segment, which will open the Friday broadcasts. The duo will look at upcoming stakes races on both the local and national level. On Saturdays through Tuesdays, headlines from around the thoroughbred world will open the show.

Each Sunday and Monday trainer Liane Davis will host "Trainer's Corner," an educational piece explaining various aspects of racing or a feature on a racing personality.

Every Tuesday, Kristufek will take a look at the top contenders and where they are headed on the road to the Triple Crown while Shaer will ask a weekly question for the track's internet poll and reveal the results of the previous week's poll.

Shaer will also appear on a regular basis with timely interviews and upcoming promotions.

The show will air Friday through Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., though this first week of racing because of FOX Sports Net Chicago's commitment to other events there will be some schedule changes. On Friday, March 1 and Monday, March 4, the show will air at 4:30 p.m. while on Tuesday, March 5, the program will air at 7 p.m. There will likely be no program on Sunday, March 3.




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