World Thoroughbred Championships, Emirates in Strategic Partnership

NTRA/Breeders' Cup press release
The National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup Limited today announced an agreement in principle to create a strategic alliance between the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships and the Emirates World Series Racing Championship, the intercontinental series that includes races in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Australia and North America.

Through this alliance, the Emirates World Series international races would be promoted on U.S. television in NTRA programming. Select Emirates World Series races will also be included in the "Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships" coverage on ESPN. In addition, Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships sponsors would be able to develop mutually beneficial sponsor sales strategies to connect with the events in the Emirates World Series.

The Emirates World Series, which began in March with the Dubai World Cup, continues July 28 with the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Diamond Stakes from Ascot Racecourse near London. It features a total of 11 races, including the Arlington Million, the Grosser Preis von Baden, the Irish Champion Stakes, the Canadian International, the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe Lucien Barrière, the Cox Plate, the Breeders' Cup Turf, the Breeders' Cup Classic, the Japan Cup and the Hong Kong Cup.

Most of the Emirates World Series races will be televised live on ESPN News and will receive additional coverage on the ESPN family of networks. These races also will be shown on NTRA 2Day at the Races and Racehorse Digest, with highlights airing on the NTRA Champions series on CBS, on NBC's September 15 Breeders' Cup Preview Day telecast, on ESPN's Breeders' Cup Special on October 26 and as part of the NTRA's Eclipse Awards telecast next February.

In addition, the Breeders' Cup Turf and the Breeders' Cup Classic will be telecast live by NBC as part of its October 27 Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships coverage.

"The proposed alliance between the World Thoroughbred Championships and the Emirates World Series affords our sponsors the major benefit of increased international exposure and audience reach," said NTRA Commissioner Tim Smith. "At the same time, through increased TV exposure of these races in the U.S., our fans will become much more familiar with the international stars who will compete in the Breeders' Cup, particularly in the Turf and Classic divisions."

"The purpose of this international alliance would be to create a dynamic world racing series, which would generate enormous potential for global sponsorship," said James E. Bassett III, chairman of the Emirates World Series and of Keeneland Racecourse.