The NTRA National Pick 4 wager, offered in conjunction with "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships - Powered by Dodge" series installments airing on ESPN and ABC through Oct. 14, will be available Aug. 12, challenging fans to correctly select the winners of four graded stakes--the $1 million Arlington Million and $750,000 Beverly D. Stakes at Arlington Park (both gr. I); and the $500,000 Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap (gr. I) and $200,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Breeders' Cup Handicap (gr. II) at Saratoga Racecourse. All races will air live Aug. 12 on ABC from 4-6 p.m. (ET).
The NTRA National Pick 4 carries a $500,000 gross pool guarantee, has a $1 minimum wager amount, and will be hubbed as a separate card event by Saratoga with a 25% takeout. To wager, fans should ask for the "National Pick 4." The first leg of the NTRA National Pick 4 will be the Vanderbilt, which has a scheduled post time of 4:16 p.m. (ET). The Vanderbilt will be followed in order by the Beverly D. (4:42 p.m. ET), the Sword Dancer (5:20 p.m. ET), and the Arlington Million (5:42 p.m. ET).
"We are again pleased to link a national wager with a prominent national telecast," said Kenneth Kirchner, the NTRA's senior vice president for product development. "This year's first NTRA National Pick 4 June 17 was very well received by fans, and the National Pick Four we offered last year on these same races handled $1.2 million. So, with the promise of competitive fields all around this weekend, we think customers will again find the wager highly attractive."
Arlington Million--The race has a definite Breeders' Cup World Championships feel to it as the international field of turf specialists gearing up for this important grass event include last year's John Deere Breeders' Cup Turf (gr. IT) runner-up Ace, the Irish-based horse from the powerful Aidan O'Brien stable, and the Graham Motion-trained Better Talk Now, who won that event in 2004. Trainer Bobby Frankel will saddle the grade I Manhattan Handicap winner Cacique. Also expected to compete is Cosmonaut, coming off a win in the Arlington Handicap (gr. IIIT); Irish group I winner Phoenix Reach; German champion Soldier Hollow; Dubai Duty Free (UAE-I) runner-up The Tin Man; Touch of Land; Major Rhythm; and Go Deputy. The 1 1/4-mile race for horses three years old and up is part of the John Deere Turf Division.
Sword Dancer Invitational Handicap--The Todd Pletcher-trained English Channel, winner of last month's United Nations (gr. IT), takes on Relaxed Gesture, who was third in the race following a second place finish in the Manhattan Handicap (gr. IT). English Channel is third in the John Deere Turf Division of the Breeders' Cup World Championships Poll, while Relaxed Gesture is eighth. Also expected to compete is Crown Point, Grand Couturier, Jambalaya, Silverfoot, and possibly Major Rhythm, Rush Bay, and Silver Whistle. The 1 1/2-mile race for horses three years old and up is part of the John Deere Turf Division.
Beverly D. Stakes--The Graham Motion-trained Film Maker, who set a Colonial Downs course record in winning last month's All Along Breeders' Cup Stakes (gr. IIIT), takes on the Patrick Biancone-trained Gorella, who is coming off a win in the Just a Game Handicap (gr. IIT). Gorella was third in the 2005 NetJets Breeders' Cup Mile (gr. IT). Also set for the race are the Todd Pletcher-trained Honey Ryder, winner of the Sheepshead Bay Handicap (gr. IIT); Chic Dancer; Live Life; Minge Cove; Rich in Spirit; Royal Copenhagen; Sharp Lisa; and possibly Wend. The 1 3/16-mile race for fillies and mares three years old and up is part of the Emirates Airline Filly and Mare Turf Division.
Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap--War Front, who was second in the Tom Fool Handicap (gr. II) behind 2005 TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I) winner Silver Train, and Judiths Wild Rush, who captured the Vigil Stakes (Can-III) at Woodbine, take on grade I winner Mass Media and Afrashad. Possible starters include I'm the Tiger and Bishop Court Hill. The six-furlong race for horses three years old and up is part of the TVG Sprint Division.
Additional NTRA National Pick 4 wagers will be offered during subsequent installments of the "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships – Powered by Dodge" series Sept. 30 (ESPN, 4 -6 p.m. ET); Oct. 7 (ESPN2, 4:30-6:30 p.m. ET); and Oct. 14 (ESPN, 4-6 p.m.).