Televised Road to the Breeders' Cup Starts June 17

Edited press release

The second half of the Thoroughbred racing season kicks off June 17 with the first 2006 telecast of the Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships – Powered by Dodge on ESPN from 5-7 p.m. (est).

Scheduled to be shown live are the $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap (gr. I) and the $300,000 Fleur De Lis Handicap (gr. II) from Churchill Downs; the $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap (gr. I) from Belmont Park; and the $250,000 Californian (gr. II) from Hollywood Park. Also on tap is a preview of next week's Royal Ascot meet, England's premier race week.

The Stephen Foster Handicap field includes: 2003 Stephen Foster winner Perfect Drift; Brass Hat, winner of the Donn (gr. I) and New Orleans (gr. II) Handicaps and second in the Dubai World Cup (UAE-I); California shipper Buzzards Bay, winner of the All American (gr. III) and Oaklawn (gr. II) Handicaps; Love of Money, Master Command, West Virginia, Wiggins, M B Sea, Seek Gold, and Cosmonaut. Last year's Stephen Foster was won by 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam.

The Fleur De Lis Handicap is led by 2005 Ballerina Stakes (gr. I) winner Happy Ticket. Also slated to run are a pair of horses trained by Todd Pletcher: Oonagh Maccool, winner of last month's Louisville Breeders' Cup (gr. II), and La Reason. Gallant Secret and Soul Search may also compete.

The Ogden Phipps Handicap field includes Take d'Tour, an impressive winner of the Shuvee Handicap (gr. II) at Belmont Park last month, and Spun Sugar, winner of the Apple Blossom Handicap (gr. I). Other probable starters include Bending Springs, In The Gold, Nothing But Fun, and Pool Land.

The Californian is headed by the Bob Baffert-trained Preachinatthebar, winner of the Texas Mile (gr. III). Challengers include Super Frolic, Dixie Meister, Spellbinder, Yes He's a Pistol, Melanyhasthepapers, and Ice Cole.

Hosting the telecast will be Kenny Mayne, joined by analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss, reporter Jeannine Edwards, and handicapper Hank Goldberg.