Smarty's Success Prompts Additional TV Coverage
Date Posted: 5/24/2004 4:34:29 PM
Last Updated: 5/26/2004 5:59:40 PM

Edited from a release

Prompted by Smarty Jones' immensely popular run at the Visa Triple Crown, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA), New York Racing Association (NYRA) and ESPN have put together an extensive block of Belmont week programming (see schedule below) on ESPN and ESPN2. Included is an additional 5 1/2 hours of Belmont related coverage.

The NTRA and ESPN also announced that the network's Kentucky Derby and Preakness Saturday specials posted significant audience increases over last year.

"Once again, a great set of horse racing stories has captured the country's imagination," said NTRA commissioner Tim Smith."We are delighted that we and our partners at NYRA and ESPN can bring this enhanced Visa Triple Crown coverage to horse racing fans. We are also extremely pleased by the ratings increases, which come on the heels of similar ratings improvements for the Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby series that aired throughout the spring."

Highlighting the additions to the Belmont week programming schedule:
- ESPN's Belmont Stakes undercard telecast on Saturday, June 5 will air from 1:00-5:30 p.m. ET, an expansion of two hours (from 3:00-5:30 p.m. ET).
- ESPN will add a half-hour to The Triple Crown 2004 post-race show, Saturday, June 5. The show will air from 7-8:00 p.m. ET (addition from 7 p.m.-7:30 p.m.).
- ESPN2 will air a one-hour special on the race for the Triple Crown, titled, "Smarty Jones Triple Crown Challenge," to air Friday, June 4 from 6:00-7:00 p.m. ET; Saturday, June 5 from 1:00-2:00 a.m. ET; Saturday, June 5 from noon-1:00 p.m. ET.
Among the ESPN personalities who will be featured on ESPN and ESPN2 during Belmont week are Kenny Mayne, Rece Davis, Thea Andrews (Cold Pizza), Randy Moss, Hank Goldberg, Jeannine Edwards and Kurt Hoover.

Belmont Coverage on ESPN and ESPN2
(Subject to change)
Date, Network Time (ET), Show/Race Track
6/3, ESPN2, 2:00-2:30 p.m., Long John Silver's Wire to Wire Belmont
6/4, ESPN2, 5:00-6:00 p.m., Acorn and Flash Stakes (LIVE), Belmont
6/4, ESPN2, 6:00-7:00 p.m., Smarty Jones Triple Crown Challenge
6/5, ESPN, 5:30-6:00 a.m,. Long John Silver's Wire to Wire Belmont
6/5, ESPN2, 1:00-2:00 a.m., Smarty Jones Triple Crown Challenge
6/5, ESPN2, Noon-1:00 p.m., Smarty Jones Triple Crown Challenge
6/5, ESPN, 1:00-3:30 p.m., Today at the Belmont Stakes featuring the Vagrancy Handicap (LIVE), Belmont
6/5, ESPN, 3:30-5:30 p.m., Belmont Stakes Special featuring:
-Just A Game Breeders' Cup Handicap (LIVE)
-Riva Ridge Breeders' Cup Handicap (LIVE)
-True North Breeders' Cup Handicap (LIVE) Belmont
6/5, ESPN, 7:00-8:00 p.m., Triple Crown 2004 Belmont


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