By Ryan Berenz
Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., is the site of Thoroughbred racingâ€™s season-ending Breedersâ€™ Cup World Championships, the richest two days in sports with more than $26 million in purses. Last yearâ€™s event was one for the ages, with Blame stunning previously undefeated favorite Zenyatta in a photo finish at the $5 million Breedersâ€™ Cup Classic. Top contenders this year include Uncle Mo, Stay Thirsty and Havre de Grace. ESPN, ESPN2 and ABC will combine for more than nine hours of coverage Nov. 4-5. Full press release and Breeders’ Cup TV schedule from ESPN after the jump:
Breedersâ€™ Cup on ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN3
The V Foundation Again Named Official Nonprofit Beneficiary
ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to present the 28th Breedersâ€™ Cup World Championships from storied Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., on Friday, Nov. 4, and Saturday, Nov. 5. In addition, ESPN3 will offer simulcasts of most Breedersâ€™ Cup races. This premier international event boasts $26 million in purses and awards.
Capping off the season of thoroughbred racing, the 15-race Breedersâ€™ Cup features four-year-old female Havre de Grace, who won the Woodward Stakes at Saratoga; and Mike Repoleâ€™s horses Uncle Mo, the 2010 Grey Goose Breedersâ€™ Cup Juvenile winner, and Stay Thirsty, winner of the Travers Stakes.
ESPN analyst Kenny Mayne notes, â€śNothing against the other 363, but the two days of Breeders’ Cup are my favorites of the year. The best horses in the world racing at every distance â€“ anything can happen. That includes a girl horse winning the Classic for the second time in three years. I know “girl horse” is highly technical so we’ll dial it down for newcomers.
â€śWe’ll also celebrate the fact we already know one winner in advance. That’s the V Foundation, the key beneficiary of the Breeders’ Cup. We’ll witness good things on the track and help do some good off it.â€ť
Host â€“ Joe Tessitore;
Analysts â€“ Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey;
Handicappers â€“ Kenny Mayne and Hank Goldberg;
International Expert/European Horse Analyst â€“ Nick Luck;
Reporters â€“ Jeannine Edwards, Jay Privman and Caton Bredar (on horseback);
Narrator, Historian â€“ William (Bill) Nack;
Race Caller â€“ Trevor Denman.
Havre de Grace: Trainer Larry Jones returns to Churchill Downs post-retirement with a filly who will match up against the boys, just like his former trainee, Eight Belles;
Mike Repole: A story about the American dream. Second-generation Italian-American Mike Repole is a self-made entrepreneur who sold Glaceau, the parent company of vitaminwater, to Coca-Cola for $4.1 billion. He now owns Uncle Mo and Stay Thirsty, two solid competitors in the Classic;
Chantal Sutherland: Canadian Chantal Sutherland is a model, TV personality and female jockey. She will have a mount on Game On Dude in this yearâ€™s Breedersâ€™ Cup Classic;
Goldikova: Goldikova won at the TVG Breedersâ€™ Cup Mile three years in a row. Her owners, Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, also own the House of Chanel perfume company;
Scooter Dickey: Horse Flat Out and his 70-year-old trainer Scooter Dickey have worked hard to get to this yearâ€™s Classic. While Dickey and Flat Out battle the competition, Dickeyâ€™s wife, Dana â€“ who married him at age 16, battles a life-threatening autoimmune disease.
Breedersâ€™ Cup coverage will feature 40 cameras, including three mega-slo-mo cameras at the finish line, five POV cameras to showcase the betting windows, race caller, stewards, and inside the rail of the turf course, as well as a super-crane at the chute, cameras for the gate loads, and aerial coverage of Churchill Downs.
Additional Coverage on ESPN Platforms:
ESPN.com: Coverage includes video recaps, jockey blogs and â€śCover It Liveâ€ť with handicapper Terry Turrell. Additionally, there will be special focus on the Ladies Classic and the Classic, as the Horse of the Year could be another filly and possibly come from one of those races. Goldikova will also be highlighted as she attempts four straight wins in the Breedersâ€™ Cup Mile.
ESPN International: Racing will be distributed via ESPN International networks in Latin America, the Caribbean, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East, and on ESPNâ€™s HD networks in Australia, Brazil and Latin America. In addition, the Breedersâ€™ Cup will be streamed live on ESPN broadband platforms in Latin America, New Zealand and Australia.
Breedersâ€™ Cup Continues Partnership With The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation, named for former coach and ESPN commentator Jim Valvano, will collaborate with the Breedersâ€™ Cup for the third consecutive year to raise money for cancer research. For the last two years, the Breedersâ€™ Cup has paid tribute to Valvanoâ€™s unforgettable words, â€śDon’t give upâ€¦ don’t ever give up!â€ťÂ® in raising more than $350,000 in donations for the foundation that bears his name. In addition to donations, The V Foundation benefits with the purchase of select Breedersâ€™ Cup merchandise such as the â€śLucky Charmâ€ť as a portion of sales go directly to cancer research. Also in honor of Valvano and his foundation, the race that starts on Friday, Nov. 4, at 3:30 p.m. is called Jimmy V “Don’t Give Up…Don’t Ever Give Up!”Â®. To donate to The V Foundation for Cancer Research, please click here.
About The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $100 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by their endowment. The Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit www.jimmyv.org.
ESPN/ABC SCHEDULE (race/event order subject to change)
DateÂ Â Â Race/EventÂ Â Â Time (ET)Â Â Â Network
Fri., Nov. 4Â Â Â Jimmy V “Don’t Give Up. . . Don’t Ever Give Up!”Â®Â Â Â 3:30 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN3
Sentient Jet Juvenile SprintÂ Â Â 4:10 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN2, ESPN3
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies TurfÂ Â Â 4:50 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN2, ESPN3
Sentient Jet F/M SprintÂ Â Â 5:30 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN2, ESPN3
Grey Goose Juvenile FilliesÂ Â Â 6:10 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN2, ESPN3
Emirates Airline F/M TurfÂ Â Â 6:50 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN2, ESPN3
Breeders’ Cup Ladiesâ€™ ClassicÂ Â Â 7:30 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN2, ESPN3
Sat., Nov. 5Â Â Â Breeders’ Cup Juvenile TurfÂ Â Â 2:02 p.m.Â Â Â ABC
Sentient Jet SprintÂ Â Â 2:37 p.m.Â Â Â ABC
Breeders’ Cup Turf SprintÂ Â Â 3:21 p.m.Â Â Â ABC
Breeders’ Cup Dirt MileÂ Â Â 4:01 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN, ESPN3
Emirates Airline TurfÂ Â Â 4:45 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN, ESPN3
Grey Goose JuvenileÂ Â Â 5:25 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN, ESPN3
TVG MileÂ Â Â 6:07 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN, ESPN3
Breeders’ Cup ClassicÂ Â Â 7 p.m.Â Â Â ESPN, ESPN3
Photo: Credit: Bob Mayberger/ZUMA Press/Newscom