The Breeders' Cup board of directors, at a special meeting Nov. 1 in Lexington, signed off on purse-money commitments tied to televised races in 2004.
The board usually meets in January to tackle such matters, but the National Thoroughbred Racing Association has been lining up television time for major races next year. Breeders' Cup and the NTRA operate under a joint budget.
"With the development of the NTRA/Breeders' Cup television schedule, we needed to allocate and approve the purse money," Breeders' Cup president D.G. Van Clief Jr. said. "We're always a bit later than we like to be in developing a final budget."
During the NTRA Annual Meeting and Marketing Summit in Las Vegas in late September, Chip Campbell, senior vice president of television and sponsorship for the NTRA, indicated there would be more racing on television in 2004, as well as a new look. He mentioned the "Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby" series, the Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships, and a summer racing series.
"I believe it will take a different look than what you've seen in the past," Campbell said. "I believe we have a formula that will improve the presentation of horse racing throughout the year."