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BC Official: Friday 'True Championship'

BC Official: Friday 'True Championship'

The repackaging of the Breeders' Cup World Championships and move of female stakes from their customary Saturday spot is part of the plan to make Friday's program "true Breeders' Cup championship racing," Breeders' Cup president Greg Avioli said.

ESPN Racing Series Begins Mar. 22

ESPN Racing Series Begins Mar. 22

"NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby" will air on the ESPN networks beginning March 22 as the racing industry counts down to the 2008 Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I), the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 10.

Breeders' Cup Challenge Launched

Breeders' Cup Challenge Launched

Officials of Breeders' Cup Limited and six of the nation's premier racetracks launched the Breeders' Cup Challenge, a series of 24 officially sanctioned qualifying stakes races for the Breeders' Cup World Championships.

Rags to Riches' Coaching Club Oaks to Air on ESPN

Rags to Riches' Coaching Club Oaks to Air on ESPN

With Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner Rags to Riches expected to make her next start in the July 21 Coaching Club American Oaks (gr. I) at Belmont Park, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced July 13 that live coverage of the race has been added to the TV series "NTRA Summer Racing - Powered by Dodge."

Agreement Will Permit 'Ruffian' Movie to Air

Agreement Will Permit 'Ruffian' Movie to Air

An agreement has been reached between Frank Whiteley and Jacinto Vasquez, the respective trainer and jockey of the top racemare Ruffian; the Walt Disney Company ABC; ESPN; and a movie production company over a movie about the filly.

Whiteley, Vasquez Sue Disney Over Ruffian Movie

Whiteley, Vasquez Sue Disney Over Ruffian Movie

Ruffian's trainer, Frank Whiteley Jr., and her regular rider, Jacinto Vasquez, along with Thoroughbred Legends LLC, have filed a civil suit against The Walt Disney Company and its subsidiaries, ABC and ESPN, charging trademark infringement in the TV movie "Ruffian," which is slated to air June 9 on ABC.

Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby Begins March 17

"Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby" will once again air on ABC and the ESPN networks beginning Saturday, March 17, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Feb. 15. The series will conclude with a Triple Crown special airing from Louisville's Churchill Downs two days prior to the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I).

Wire To Wire Cut from Revamped ESPN Lineup

ESPN's "Wire To Wire" digest show will be eliminated in 2007, but the amount of live coverage hours of horse racing on the network will increase slightly, part of a retooling of the lineups for the sports cable company and affiliated broadcast network ABC.

Forward Progress

Forward Progress

By Ray Paulick - After a rocky year of changes that touched both the board of directors and the organization's top executives, stakeholders in the Breeders' Cup should feel good about its new direction.

Denman Ready to Call Cup

As soon as ESPN and the NTRA announced that Trevor Denman would replace Tom Durkin as the racecaller for the 23rd Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Denman's phone started to ring.

ESPN Plans Blanket Coverage of Breeders' Cup

In its first year of televising the Breeders' Cup World Championships, ESPN will air seven hours of coverage from Churchill Downs in Louisville. The Breeders' Cup coverage begins Nov. 4 at noon and continues to 7 p.m., and will be telecast in high definition.

NTRA National Pick 4 Offered Oct. 7

The NTRA National Pick 4 wager, offered in conjunction with "Emirates Airline Countdown to the Breeders' Cup" series installments airing on ESPN and ESPN2 through Oct. 14 will be available Oct. 7.

Durkin Out as TV Voice of Breeders' Cup

Durkin Out as TV Voice of Breeders' Cup

Besides being seen on a new network this year, the Breeders' Cup World Championships will have a different sound as well. For the first time since the event's inception in 1984, Tom Durkin will not be calling the Breeders' Cup races for television viewers.

"Road" Shows on ESPN Grab More Viewers

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Wednesday that television viewership for the first four shows of its "Road to the Breeders' Cup World Championships -- Powered by Dodge" was up 45% over last year's numbers.

National Belmont TV Ratings Slump 22%

National Belmont TV Ratings Slump 22%

ABC Sports picked a tough time to get back into the Triple Crown business. Without Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro and Preakness victor Bernardini, the Belmont Stakes was left without a star attraction, and that was reflected in national television ratings for the June 10 running from New York.

ESPN and ABC to Offer Belmont Stakes Coverage

Comprehensive coverage of the Belmont Stakes (gr. I) on ESPN and ABC Sports begins June 8 and concludes June 10, when the third jewel of Thoroughbred racing's Triple Crown will be held at Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.

Eight-Show Derby Prep Package On ABC, ESPN

"Citgo Racing to the Kentucky Derby," an eight-show series on ABC and the ESPN networks that provides comprehensive coverage of the key Triple Crown prep races, returns on March 18, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) announced Feb. 8.

Bailey to Retire Jan. 28; Will Join ABC/ESPN

Bailey to Retire Jan. 28; Will Join ABC/ESPN

Jerry Bailey, 48, North America's dominant jockey for more than a decade beginning in the early 1990s, announced his retirement from riding, effective Jan 28 after the Sunshine Millions card at Gulfstream Park.

Ruffian Film Slated for ABC/ESPN

ESPN Original Entertainment (EOE) announced it will produce an original film, "Ruffian," based on the story of the great filly who was undefeated until suffering a fatal breakdown in a match race against Foolish Pleasure at Belmont Park in 1975.

DeVito Named President of NTRA Productions

Veteran television executive Basil DeVito Jr., who served as senior vice president for television and sponsorship for the National Thoroughbred Racing Association from 1998-99, has rejoined the organization as president of NTRA Productions.

ESPN Executive to Leave; Still Speaking at Round Table

Mark Shapiro, the ESPN executive who was instrumental in moving the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships to his network in 2006, is leaving ESPN effective Oct. 1 to become chief executive officer of Red Zone, a private entertainment investment company founded by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.

Shapiro is Keynote Speaker at Round Table Conference

Mark Shapiro, executive vice president who oversees programming and production for ESPN networks and ABC Sports, will deliver the keynote address at The Jockey Club's 53rd annual Round Table Conference in Saratoga Springs Aug. 21.

'Road to The World Thoroughbred Championships Powered By Dodge' Returns on ESPN Networks

"Road to the World Thoroughbred Championships Powered by Dodge," a four-month, 15-program series, will return on ESPN networks this weekend. Featuring 33 races in seven of the eight Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships divisions, the series concludes with a World Thoroughbred Championships special Oct. 28, the day before this year's Breeders' Cup at Belmont Park.

NTRA Strategic Plan Reflects Priority Shift

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association's strategic plan for the next five years clearly reflects a shift in priorities for the organization, though many of the core focus areas remain intact from its first business plan issued in 1997.

Fresh Air

Fresh Air

By Ray Paulick - A lot of grayhairs frowned initially when the National Thoroughbred Racing Association and Breeders' Cup signed an eight-year deal with ESPN, moving racing's championship day to a cable network beginning in 2006. NBC Sports has broadcast the event every year since its inception in 1984.

Breeders' Cup Inks Eight-Year Deal With ESPN

The Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships will be televised on ESPN beginning in 2006 under an eight-year contract between the two parties, officials announced April 29. Financial details weren't released, but officials called it a "revenue-sharing" package designed to help racing capitalize on multimedia and technology.

ESPN Airs Handicapping Contest Sunday

Trying to piggyback on the phenomenal success of televised poker, the racing industry has high hopes for ESPN's one-hour program covering the National Handicapping Championship, which will air Sunday, Feb. 20, at 5 p.m. ET.

ESPN Wins Eclipse Award for 'Smarty' Documentary

ESPN has won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Features for its documentary "Smarty Jones: America's Horse," which aired on Oct. 31, 2004, on ESPN and ESPN HD, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 4.

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