A rift has developed among the partners in Triple Crown Productions, which holds the television rights to the three grade I Visa Triple Crown events: the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs, the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico Race Course, and the Belmont Stakes at Belmont Park.
There is plenty of sunshine in the final tally from last weekend's Sunshine Millions according to a press release issued by Magna Entertainment Corp. MEC reports the second running of the Sunshine Millions eclipsed last year's successes, both on track and in the home.
NBC Sports has won the Eclipse Award for National Television – Live Racing Programming for its production of the 2003 Preakness Stakes, the National Thoroughbred Racing Association announced Jan. 14. Other media Eclipse Award winners were also named.
The 1 1/2-hour Belmont Stakes telecast on NBC produced an overnight rating of 10.4, the highest for any horse race since the 1990 Kentucky Derby and the highest for a Belmont since 1987, when ratings were introduced. The overnight rating for the race exceeded overnight ratings for other major sporting events over the weekend.
With the buzz growing ever louder over another potential Triple Crown winner, the racing industry is marshalling its marketing forces to make sure the public at large becomes aware of what's at stake at Belmont Park June 7.
A conflict with a four-day Future Farmers of America convention has moved the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships' return to Churchill Downs from 2005 to 2006. Belmont Park is expected to hold the event in 2005.
NBC Sports kicks off coverage of horseracing's 3-year-old picture Saturday with a 90-minute telecast of "NTRA's Road to the Kentucky Derby." The show will air from 4:30-6 p.m. (ET) and will feature live coverage of the $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (gr. I) from Keeneland.
The five-hour Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championship telecast on NBC earned a 1.7 rating and captured 4% of the viewing audience. They were the lowest ratings the championship has ever received.
Since the official Kentucky Derby (gr. I) chart began listing an "off" time in 1963, the race has never started past 5:42.30, the estimated post time of the 1971 running won by Canonero II. That will change this year.