Thoroughbred Racing on ESPN

Last updated

ESPN and ESPN2's coverage of Thoroughbred racing consisted of NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby., [1] Road To The World Thoroughbred Championships/NTRA Racing to the Breeders' Cup, a series of prep races for the Breeders' Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, the post position draw for the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, the Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes undercard races, the Kentucky Oaks and Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, NTRA 2Day At the Races, Racing Across America, the Preakness undercard races, the Eclipse Awards show, and Long John Silver's Wire to Wire (previously known as RaceHorse Digest), a weekly thoroughbred racing magazine show. [1] [2] They also had Triple Crown morning shows such as Breakfast at Churchill Downs and Breakfast at Pimlico. ESPN also broadcast NTRA Super Saturdays as well.

ESPN is a U.S.-based pay television sports channel owned by ESPN Inc., owned jointly by The Walt Disney Company (80%) and Hearst Communications (20%). The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Rasmussen and Ed Egan.

ESPN2 is an American pay television network that is owned by ESPN Inc., a joint venture between The Walt Disney Company and the Hearst Communications.

Thoroughbred racing

Thoroughbred horse racing is a sport and industry involving the racing and hound racing of Thoroughbred horses. It is governed by different national bodies. There are two forms of the sport: flat racing and jump racing, called National Hunt racing in the UK and steeplechasing in the US. Jump racing can be further divided into hurdling and steeplechasing.


From 2006 to 2011, ESPN broadcast the Breeders' Cup. ESPN on ABC also broadcast a portion of the Breeders' Cup.

Breeders Cup Grade I Thoroughbred horse racing

The Breeders' Cup World Championships is an annual series of Grade I Thoroughbred horse races, operated by Breeders' Cup Limited, a company formed in 1982. From its inception in 1984 through 2006, it was a single-day event; starting in 2007, it expanded to two days. All sites have been in the United States, except in 1996, when the races were at the Woodbine Racetrack in Canada.

ESPN on ABC is the brand used for sports event and documentary programming televised on the American Broadcasting Company (ABC) in the United States. Officially, the broadcast network retains its own sports division; however, for all practical purposes, ABC's sports division has been merged into ESPN Inc., the parent subsidiary of cable sports network ESPN that is majority owned by ABC's corporate parent, The Walt Disney Company, in partnership with the Hearst Communications.

NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby

NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby was a series of races produced by NTRA Productions that air on ESPN or ESPN2. These networks currently air seven races under the Racing to the Kentucky Derby banner. They are the Lane's End Stakes, Rushaway Stakes, Florida Derby, Swale Stakes, Arkansas Derby, Blue Grass Stakes, and Lexington Stakes. [3] Previous races broadcast on ESPN as part of NTRA Racing to the Kentucky Derby include the Fountain of Youth Classic, Louisiana Derby, El Camino Real Derby, Gotham Stakes, UAE Derby, Santa Anita Derby, Illinois Derby, Wood Memorial, Holy Bull Stakes, Hutcheson Stakes, and Federico Tesio Stakes. [1]

National Thoroughbred Racing Association Horse racing organization

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association (NTRA) is a broad-based coalition of American horse racing interests consisting of leading thoroughbred racetracks, owners, breeders, trainers and affiliated horse racing associations, charged with increasing the popularity of horse racing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Kentucky, and Rye Brook, New York.

The Rushaway Stakes is an American ungraded Thoroughbred horse race held annually at Turfway Park in Florence, Kentucky. It was first run on March 22, 1986, the last year the racetrack was called Latonia. The race is open to three-year-old horses and run over a distance of one and one sixteenth miles. Originally raced on natural dirt, and for the first two years at one mile, since 2006 it has been contested on Polytrack synthetic dirt.

Florida Derby American Thoroughbred horse race

The Florida Derby is an American Thoroughbred horse race for three-year-old horses held annually at Gulfstream Park in Hallandale Beach, Florida. Since 2005, it has been run five weeks before the Kentucky Derby, which is held on the first Saturday in May. Thus the Florida Derby is currently run either at the end of March or the beginning of April. Added to the racing schedule in 1952, the Grade I race is run at ​1 18 miles on the dirt for a purse currently set at $1 Million.


Among ESPN's regulars on its horse racing telecasts were hosts Chris Lincoln, Chris Fowler, Joe Tessitore and Kenny Mayne, along with analysts Charlsie Cantey, Dave Johnson, Bob Neumeier, Jerry D. Bailey and Randy Moss, handicapper Hank Goldberg and reporters Lesley Visser, Jeannine Edwards and Jay Privman.

Chris Lincoln is an American sportscaster who called College Football on ABC from 1976 to 1979 and hosted ESPN's horse racing coverage from 1985 to 1998. He recently "semi-retired" from a stint as Sports Director at KTUL-TV (ABC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Chris Fowler American sportscaster

Christopher “Crease” Fowler is an American sports broadcaster for ESPN known best for his work on College GameDay, which he hosted between 1990 and 2014, and for college football. From 1989 until 2014, Fowler was the primary studio host for college football. Fowler is also a regular anchor on ESPN for coverage of tennis and soccer.

Joe Tessitore American sports announcer

Joe Tessitore is an American sportscaster for ABC and ESPN. He is the play-by-play broadcaster of Monday Night Football, alongside analyst Booger McFarland. Tessitore also leads ESPN's world championship fight broadcasts as the blow-by-blow broadcaster for Top Rank Boxing on ESPN, and has served as a host for Holey Moley and the revival of Battle of the Network Stars.

Related Research Articles

Keeneland United States historic place

Keeneland Association, Inc. is an equine business based in Lexington, Kentucky. It includes two distinct divisions, the Keeneland Race Course, a Thoroughbred racing facility, and Keeneland Sales, a horse auction complex. It is also known for its reference library.

The Breeders' Cup Juvenile is a Thoroughbred horse race for 2-year-old colts and geldings raced on dirt. It is held annually in late October or early November at a different racetrack in the United States or Canada as part of the Breeders' Cup World Championships. The current purse is $2,000,000, making it the most valuable race for two-year-olds in North America. It is normally run at a distance of ​1 116 miles.

Angel Tomas Cordero Jr. is one of the leading thoroughbred horse racing jockeys of all time and the first Puerto Rican to be inducted into the United States' Racing Hall of Fame.

Giacomo (horse) American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Giacomo is an American Thoroughbred race horse and sire best known for winning the 2005 Kentucky Derby.

Thoroughbred Racing on NBC is the de facto title for a series of horse races events whose broadcasts are produced by NBC Sports, the sports division of the NBC television network in the United States. Race coverage is currently helmed by, among others, host Mike Tirico, along with analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, handicappers Eddie Olczyk and Britney Eurton, reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Barton Brothers, Laffit Pincay, III and Carolyn Manno and track announcer Larry Collmus.

Neil D. Drysdale is an American-based thoroughbred race horse trainer.

Lil E. Tee was an American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse who in 1992 scored one of the biggest upsets in the history of the Kentucky Derby.

Circular Quay is a thoroughbred racehorse who was a 2007 Kentucky Derby contender. The son of 1995 Belmont Stakes and Kentucky Derby winner Thunder Gulch is owned by Michael Tabor and was trained by Todd Pletcher.

Chris Evert was an American Hall of Fame Champion Thoroughbred racehorse.

Calvin Borel American jockey

Calvin H. Borel is an American jockey in thoroughbred horse racing and rode the victorious mount in the 2007 Kentucky Derby, the 2009 Kentucky Derby and the 2010 Kentucky Derby. His 2009 Derby win with Mine That Bird was the second biggest upset in Derby history, and Borel's winning margin of ​6 34 lengths was the greatest in Derby history since Assault won by 8 lengths in 1946. On May 1, 2009, Borel won the Kentucky Oaks aboard Rachel Alexandra, only the second time since 1993 that a jockey has won the Oaks-Derby combo, and just the seventh time overall a jockey has accomplished this feat in the same year. On May 16, 2009, Borel won the 2009 Preakness Stakes at Pimlico with thoroughbred filly Rachel Alexandra. In doing so, Borel became the first jockey to win the first two jewels of the Triple Crown on different mounts. Borel's nickname is "Bo'rail'" due to his penchant for riding close to the rail to save ground.

The Thoroughbred Corporation is a Thoroughbred horse racing and breeding operation established in 1994 by principal partner Prince Ahmed bin Salman of the Saudi Arabian royal family. It was based at an 18-acre (73,000 m2) facility at Bradbury Estates, in Bradbury, California.

Steve Asmussen American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer

Steven Mark Asmussen is an American Thoroughbred racehorse trainer. He is a two-time winner of the Eclipse Award for Outstanding Trainer and was inducted into the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame in 2016. His horses have won the Breeders' Cup Classic, Preakness Stakes, Belmont Stakes, Breeders' Cup Distaff, Kentucky Oaks and Dubai World Cup.

Robbie Glen Davis is a retired American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey.

The National Thoroughbred Racing Association Moment of the Year award, first awarded in 1999, celebrates or honors one moment that occurred during a given year that most thoroughly exemplifies the spirit and ethos of the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing in the United States.

Rosie Napravnik American jockey

Anna Rose "Rosie" Napravnik is a former American Thoroughbred horse racing jockey and two-time winner of the Kentucky Oaks. Beginning her career in 2005, she was regularly ranked among the top jockeys in North America in both earnings and total races won. By 2014 she had been in the top 10 by earnings three years in a row and was the highest-ranked woman jockey in North America. In 2011, she won the Louisiana Derby for her first time and was ninth in the 2011 Kentucky Derby with the horse Pants on Fire. In 2012 she became the first woman rider to win the Kentucky Oaks, riding Believe You Can and then winning the race for a second time in 2014 on Untapable. She is only the second woman jockey to win a Breeders' Cup race and the first to win more than one, having won the 2012 Breeders' Cup Juvenile on Shanghai Bobby and the 2014 Breeders' Cup Distaff on Untapable. Napravnik's fifth-place finish in the 2013 Kentucky Derby and third in the 2013 Preakness Stakes on Mylute are the best finishes for a woman jockey in those two Triple Crown races to date, and she is the only woman to have ridden in all three Triple Crown races.

Mine That Bird American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Mine That Bird is an American Thoroughbred racehorse who had a racing career in both Canada and the United States from 2008 to 2010. He is best known for pulling off a monumental upset, at 50-to-1 odds, by winning the Kentucky Derby in 2009. He became one of only nine geldings to win the Kentucky Derby and the second gelding to win the race since 1929. He continued to have success in the two remaining races of the American Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing by finishing second in the 2009 Preakness Stakes and third in the 2009 Belmont Stakes. On November 6, 2010, Mine That Bird was retired from racing after being winless in nine starts following the Kentucky Derby. He amassed $2,228,637 in earnings and won five of eighteen starts during his three-year racing career.

Kenny Rice is an American sportscaster known nationally for his horse racing reporting with NBC and MMA coverage for HDNet.

Blame (horse) American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Blame is a retired American champion Thoroughbred racehorse, a winner of nine races in 13 starts including the prestigious Breeders' Cup Classic.

ABC's coverage of Thoroughbred racing currently consists of a portion of the Breeders Cup. Previously, ABC's coverage also included the Kentucky Derby (1975–2000), the Preakness Stakes (1977–2000), and the Belmont Stakes.

Exaggerator American-bred Thoroughbred racehorse

Exaggerator is a retired American Thoroughbred racehorse, winner of the 2016 Preakness Stakes. Racing as a two-year-old in 2015, he won three of his six starts including the Saratoga Special Stakes and the Delta Jackpot Stakes as well as finishing second in the Breeders' Futurity and fourth in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile. The following spring, he finished second in the San Vicente Stakes and third in the San Felipe Stakes before establishing himself as a contender for the 2016 Kentucky Derby with a six length win in the Santa Anita Derby. After finishing second to Nyquist in the Derby, he turned the tables to win the 2016 Preakness Stakes. He ran poorly in the Belmont Stakes but defeated Nyquist again in the Haskell Invitational. Tactically, Exaggerator was a "closer" – one who prefers to come from behind in his races.


  1. 1 2 3 "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-01-25. Retrieved 2009-06-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-02-28. Retrieved 2009-06-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-07-29. Retrieved 2009-06-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)