Breeders’ Cup, NBC Expand Partnership to Televise “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In”

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Five Keeneland Fall Stars Stakes to be Televised Live By NBC Sports Group Oct. 4-5 

NEW YORK (April 21, 2014) – The Breeders’ Cup, the most prestigious event in international horse racing, announced today that it is expanding its partnership with NBC Sports Group to televise a series of 18 Breeders’ Cup Challenge races from top tracks in the U.S., from June until the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

The “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” will feature 18 “Win And You’re In” races with more than $13 million in purses and awards that will be broadcast across 11 shows on NBC and NBCSN with winners automatically qualifying for a spot in the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park (Oct. 31 and Nov. 1).

Keeneland will be the site for the final two telecasts of the series. On Saturday, Oct. 4, NBCSN will televise live (4:30-6 p.m. ET) the $200,000 Thoroughbred Club of America (G2), for fillies and mares, 3-year-olds and up at 6 furlongs, an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint (G1); the $400,000 Breeders’ Futurity (G1) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles, an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile (G1); and the $750,000 Shadwell Turf Mile (G1) for 3-year-olds and up at one mile on turf, a “Win and You’re In” for the Breeders’ Cup Mile (G1).

On Sunday, Oct. 5, NBC will televise live (5-6 p.m. ET) the $500,000 Juddmonte Spinster Stakes (G1) for fillies and mares, 3-years-old and up at 1 1/8 miles, an automatic qualifier for the Breeders’ Cup Distaff (G1); and the $250,000 Dixiana Bourbon Stakes (G3) for 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on turf for an automatic berth in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf (G1). 

Putting the spotlight on premier race tracks across the country, the 2014 series begins on June 7 with the Grade 1 Metropolitan Mile and Ogden Phipps Handicap on Belmont Day from Belmont Park and continues with live telecasts of American fixtures, including the William Hill Haskell Invitational (G1) from Monmouth Park, several races from Saratoga, including the Travers (G1), the TVG Pacific Classic (G1) from Del Mar, the Jockey Club Gold Cup (G1) at Belmont and Shadwell Turf Mile from Keeneland, among others. (Complete list and telecast schedule are below).

“We are very pleased that Keeneland is providing outstanding qualifying races in five different divisions on the concluding weekend of our Breeders’ Cup Challenge series on NBC,” said Breeders’ Cup President and CEO Craig Fravel. “We thank Keeneland officials for their support of the series, which brings to fans the very best races from the top tracks in the country under the banner of the Breeders’ Cup brand.”

“Keeneland is proud to participate in the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series and to work with NBC Sports Group to showcase our signature Fall Stars stakes,” Keeneland President & CEO Bill Thomason said. “We applaud the Breeders’ Cup and NBC on their creative efforts to attract new fans to racing.”    

“We are excited to present the new series of Breeders’ Cup Challenge telecasts, which will help to build interest as we move from the Triple Crown races through the summer and on to the eagerly anticipated Breeders’ Cup World Championships in the fall,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming for NBC and NBCSN.

To support the new Challenge Series, the Breeders’ Cup will be launching a multi-channel marketing effort that will aim to attract new fans to the telecasts and sport. Leveraging the Breeders’ Cup Celebrity Ambassadors (such as Kate Upton, Joe Torre, Bobby Flay, Elizabeth Banks and more) along with interesting and diverse horse owners who are trying to win their way into the Breeders’ Cup, a series of custom content pieces – to run on SI.com and People.com – will provide readers a window into the thrill of horse racing at its highest level during the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series. Additional television, print and online media will run across the two Time Inc. properties as well as NBCUniversal properties, including E!, CNBC, Golf Channel, Esquire Network and more, to support the campaign and help raise awareness of and interest in the Challenge Series. A full list of Breeders’ Cup Ambassadors can be found at: http://www.breederscup.com/experience/celebrity-ambassadors.

Other Challenge platform assets include:

  • A new website dedicated to the Challenge Series with unique content and a team of writers, producers and experts, including NBC Sports Group personality Randy Moss, focusing on racing, lifestyle and human interest features from some of the country’s most iconic race tracks.
  • The Breeders’ Cup Million Dollar Finish, a national consumer promotion that will allow fans to play along at home for prizes, will be supported on NBC Sports Group’s multimedia platforms.
  • An on-site experiential program bringing luxury elements unique to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships to major U.S. racing markets from New York to Southern California. The View, a private VIP racing experience, and Champions Terrace, where winning participants can revel in the sweet taste of victory, may visit Saratoga, Del Mar, Monmouth, Belmont, Keeneland and Santa Anita throughout the summer and fall (see attached photo).

The Challenge marketing campaign is a key element in the Breeders’ Cup’s initiative to expand to a broader audience of influencers and fans in the months leading to its signature event, the Breeders’ Cup World Championships.

“The Breeders’ Cup World Championships has become a premier lifestyle experience full of fashion, food, entertainment, celebrities and world-class hospitality for our fans. The enhanced Breeders’ Cup Challenge series is the perfect platform to extend our brand beyond the two-day event in the fall and to give our sponsors more tools to connect with their target audience,” said Drew Sheinman, Breeders’ Cup Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer.

Below is the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” schedule on NBC and NBCSN. Breeders’ Cup Challenge races are listed in bold.

 

Date/Time (ET)

Network

Event

Track

Challenge/ Division

Saturday, 6/7 2:30-7 PM

NBC

NBCSN

Metropolitan Handicap

Belmont

Dirt Mile

Ogden Phipps

Distaff

Saturday, 6/28

7 –8 PM

NBCSN

The Gold Cup at Santa Anita

Santa Anita

Classic

Saturday, 7/5

5 – 6 PM

NBCSN

Belmont Oaks

Belmont

F/M Turf

Sunday, 7/27

5 – 6 PM

NBC

William Hill Haskell Invitational

Monmouth

Classic

Saturday,  8/2

5 – 6 PM

NBC

Whitney and Test  Stakes   “Summer at Saratoga”

Saratoga

Classic

Saturday, 8/234:30 – 6PM

NBC

Ballerina and Travers “Summer at Saratoga”

Saratoga

F/M Sprint

Sunday, 8/24

8 – 9 PM

NBCSN

TVG Pacific Classic

Del Mar Thoroughbred Club

Classic

Saturday, 8/30

6 – 7 PM

NBCSN

Forego and Woodward“Summer at Saratoga”

Saratoga

Sprint

Saturday, 9/27

6 – 8 PM

NBCSN

Jockey Club Gold Cup

Belmont

Classic

TBD

Santa Anita

 

TBD

 

Awesome Again Stakes

Classic

Saturday, 10/4

4:30 – 6 PM

NBCSN

TCA Stakes

Keeneland

F/M Sprint

Breeders’ Futurity

Juvenile

Shadwell Turf Mile

Mile

Sunday, 10/5

5 – 6 PM

NBC

Juddmonte Spinster

Keeneland

Distaff

Dixiana Bourbon

Juvenile Turf

 

The complete 2014 Breeders’ Cup Challenge schedule will be released later this week.

 

 

About Breeders’ Cup

The Breeders’ Cup administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships.  The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. The 2014 Breeders’ Cup World Championships, consisting of 14 races and purses totaling $27 million will be held October 31-Nov. 1 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., and will be televised live by the NBC Sports Group. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms FacebookTwitter and YouTube 

 

About NBC Sports Group

When the Comcast-NBCUniversal transaction was completed in January 2011, the sports assets of the two companies combined to form NBC Sports Group, which serves sports fans 24/7 with premier live events, insightful studio shows, and compelling original programming. The sports media company consists of a unique array of broadcast television, cable television, radio and digital sports assets, including NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, NBCSN (NBC Sports Network), Golf Channel, 12 NBC Sports Regional Networks, NBC Sports Radio and all of their respective digital properties. NBC Sports Group possesses an unparalleled collection of television rights agreements, partnering with some of the most prestigious sports properties in the world: the International Olympic Committee and United States Olympic Committee, the NFL, NHL, NASCAR, PGA TOUR, PGA of America, USGA, Churchill Downs, Breeders’ Cup, Premier League, MLS, Tour de France, French Open, Formula One, IndyCar and many more.

 

About Keeneland

For more than 75 years, the Keeneland Association has devoted itself to the health and vibrancy of the Thoroughbred industry. As the world's largest Thoroughbred auction company, Keeneland conducts sales every January, April, September and November. Its sales graduates dominate racing across the globe at every level. In April and October, Keeneland offers some of the highest caliber and richest Thoroughbred racing in the world. Uniquely structured, Keeneland is a private, for-profit corporation that returns its earnings back to the industry and the community in the form of higher purses, as well as millions of dollars in charitable contributions for education, research and health and human services throughout Central Kentucky. To learn more about Keeneland, visit us online at www.keeneland.com.

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