The Triple Crown will gain additional exposure this year as a result of a promotion involving the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and the popular "Imus in the Morning" syndicated radio program hosted by Don Imus.
The promotion involves a $40,000 donation from the NTRA to the Imus Ranch, a cattle ranch in New Mexico that gives children with cancer and siblings of children who were victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome an opportunity to ride horses and experience a working farm. In addition to the May 2 donation, to be made during a live telecast from the New York Stock Exchange, the NTRA will give Imus $10,000 to wager on each of the Triple Crown races. Any net profits from the wager will also go to the Imus Ranch. Last year, WFAN sportstalk host Mike Francesa helped Imus with selections that netted the Imus Ranch more than $70,000.
Also as part of the promotion, Francesa will host his popular "Mike and the Mad Dog" afternoon radio program live from Churchill Downs on Kentucky Oaks day on May 3. The "Mike and the Mad Dog" show will also broadcast live from Belmont Park on June 7, the day the Belmont Stakes.
"We're delighted to once again team up with Don Imus, Mike Francesa and everyone connected with the 'Imus in the Morning' and 'Mike and the Mad Dog' programs," said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president-marketing & industry relations for the NTRA. "This promotion affords outstanding nationwide exposure to the Triple Crown in the name of a terrific cause. I only hope that Mike Francesa's handicapping is as sharp this year as it was last spring."
The "Imus in the Morning" radio program, broadcast weekday mornings in 77 markets in 33 states to an estimated 10 million listeners each day, is also simulcast on the MSNBC cable television network.