The National Thoroughbred Racing Association has reached an agreement in principle with CNBC to televise a new series of races beginning this summer, the NTRA and CNBC announced today. Carrying a potential bonus of $1.3 million, the NTRA Two-Year-Old Challenge is a series of races for two-year-old colts and geldings from top tracks across the country leading up to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile, part of the Breeders' Cup Championship to be run at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y. The Breeders' Cup Championship will air October 27 on NBC."We're very excited to be able to showcase these two-year-old male division races from some of our sport's finest venues on CNBC," said D.G. Van Clief Jr., vice chairman of the NTRA and president of Breeders' Cup. "The CNBC audience is a particularly strong demographic group for this division of Thoroughbred racing, since two-year-old racing shines the spotlight not just on today's accomplishments, but on tomorrow's promise and upside as well.""CNBC is looking forward to adding the NTRA Two-Year-Old Challenge to our weekend programming schedule," said Lauren Donovan, senior vice president of CNBC. "Our affluent, influential audience enjoys a wide range of social and sporting events and activities and we look forward to offering our viewers the best in Thoroughbred racing." The NTRA Two-Year-Old Challenge will award $250,000 to the owner of an eligible horse who wins any of the series' six designated races plus the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. If the horse has been sold at public auction, the consignor will receive a $50,000 bonus. If that horse goes on to win the Kentucky Derby the following year, the owner will earn an additional $1 million bonus.The complete series schedule is as follows: 9/1, Hopeful Stakes, Saratoga, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
9/16, Futurity Stakes, Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y.
9/29, Norfolk Stakes, Santa Anita (Oak Tree), Arcadia, Calif.; Arlington-Washington Futurity, Arlington Park, Arlington, Heights, Ill.
10/6, Lane's End Breeders' Futurity, Keeneland, Lexington, Ky.; Champagne Stakes, Belmont Park, Elmont, N.Y.
The series will be produced by NTRA Productions and sponsored in part by TheGreatestGame.com, an Internet-based resource designed to promote and enhance Thoroughbred ownership.