Live streaming video of the March 13 seasonal debuts of both 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra and the undefeated champion Zenyatta will be available on the National Thoroughbred Racing Association’s Web site. Stonestreet Stables and Hal McCormick’s Rachel Alexandra makes her first start in the $200,000 New Orleans Ladies Stakes from Fair Grounds, while Jerry and Ann Moss’ Zenyatta will compete later that day in the $250,000 Santa Margarita Invitational Handicap (gr. I) at Santa Anita.
These races are expected to serve as preps for the champions’ scheduled showdown in the April 9 Apple Blossom Invitational (gr. I) at Oaklawn Park. The value of the Apple Blossom will be $5 million if both horses run. Post time for the New Orleans Ladies is slated for 6:15 p.m. (ET), and the Santa Margarita is set for 6:40 p.m. (ET). Both races also will be televised live on HRTV.
The March 13 Webcast at www.ntra.com will begin at 6:00 p.m. (ET) and is the first in a series of races leading to the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup World Championships that will be Webcast live on NTRA.com. The series, called NTRA Live!, will be hosted by ESPN analyst and NFL Network host Randy Moss. NTRA Live! will feature interviews with handicappers and on-track analysts, interactive chats with viewers, pre-and post-race analysis, handicapping selections, easy access to free past performance data and advance deposit wagering platforms, as well as other original and unique programming components. The programs will be produced and directed by Tim Turrell, who has produced numerous telecasts on horse racing and other sports for ESPN, The Golf Channel, and others.
“There is obviously immense interest in Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta, and we can think of no better way to launch NTRA Live! than through a worldwide Webcast of their 2010 debuts,” said Keith Chamblin, senior vice president of the NTRA. “Our goal is to deliver high-quality broadcasts of these important races to a worldwide audience. We also want to take advantage of this Web-based platform by utilizing content elements that wouldn’t necessarily be available to us via traditional programming.”
NTRA Live!’s next Webcast will be March 20 for the Florida Derby (gr. I) from Gulfstream Park. Other races on the schedule, which is expected to include 15-20 Webcasts during the year, include the March 28 Sunland Derby (gr. III) from Sunland Park Racetrack and Casino and the April 17 Coolmore Lexington Stakes (gr. II) from Keeneland.