More than $5 million in purses and more than $100,000 in bonus money will be available through the 11-race "NTRA Champions" series on CBS in June and July. The network will air five hours of programming during four programs.
The series schedule, which includes dirt and turf races, was announced Monday. Races in the series, grouped according to the television schedule, are:
Californian (gr. II) from Hollywood Park, the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT) and Brooklyn Handicap (gr. II) from Belmont Park -- June 10, 4-5 p.m. EDT.
Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. II) from Churchill Downs and the Dallas Turf Cup from Lone Star Park -- June 16, 4:30-6 p.m.
Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), Suburban Handicap (gr. II) from Belmont, United Nations Handicap (gr. IT) from Monmouth Park, and Stars & Stripes Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. IIIT) -- July 1, 4:30-6 p.m.
Whitney Handicap (gr. I) from Saratoga, and the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT) from Arlington Park -- July 28, 3-4 p.m.
Points will be awarded for those 11 races, plus other stakes retroactive to January of this year. Through May 29, the series leader in points was Tiznow. Points are awarded as follows: grade I -- 10 for first, 6 for second, 4 for third; grade II: 6, 4, 2; and grade III: 4, 2, 1.
The top series points earner who participates in at least one of the televised Classic series races will earn $100,000. Points for cash, based on a top-three finish in the Whitney Handicap, will be awarded according to the following formula:first in the Whitney -- bonus points times $5,000; second -- bonus points times $2,000; third -- bonus points times $1,000. Bonus points can be earned in all but the turf races in the 11-race series.
Here are the other races that qualify for series bonus points, along with the one-two-three finishers for races already run:
San Fernando Breeders' Cup Handicap, Santa Anita
(Tiznow, Walkslikeaduck, Wooden Phone)
Donn Handicap, Gulfstream Park
(Captain Steve, Albert the Great, Gander)
Strub Stakes, Santa Anita Park
(Wooden Phone, Tiznow, Jimmy Z)
San Antonio Handicap, Santa Anita
(Guided Tour, Lethal Instrument, Moonlight Charger)
Santa Anita Handicap
(Tiznow, Wooden Phone, Tribunal)
New Orleans Handicap, Fair Grounds
(Include, Nite Dreamer, Valhol)
(Traditionally, Mr. Ross, Wooden Phone)
Texas Mile Stakes, Lone Star Park
(Dixie Dot Com, Mr. Ross, Five Straight)
(Include, Albert the Great, Pleasant Breeze)
Hawthorne Gold Cup
(Duckhorn, Lido Palace, Guided Tour)
Lone Star Park Handicap
(Dixie Dot Com, Fan the Flame, Big Numbers)
Metropolitan Handicap, Belmont
(Exciting Story, Peeping Tom, Alannan)
Massachusetts Handicap, Suffolk Downs (June 2)
Prairie Meadows Cornhusker Breeders' Cup Handicap (July 7)
Washington Park Handicap, Arlington Park (July 21)
Current "NTRA Champions" series points standings as of May 29:
Wooden Phone 18
Albert the Great 12
Captain Steve 10
Exciting Story 10
Dixie Dot Com 8
Guided Tour 8
Mr. Ross 8
Peeping Tom 6
Eight tied with 4