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The NTRA National Pick 4 wager


June 15, 2006     E-mail this page to a friend!

The NTRA National Pick 4 wager, offered in conjunction with two of the “Road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships – Powered by Dodge” series installments airing on ESPN and ABC through September 2, and all three of the “Emirates Airline Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup” series installments airing on the ESPN family of networks, will be available this Saturday, June 17, challenging fans to correctly select the winners of four graded stakes—the Grade I, $750,000 Stephen Foster Handicap from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky.; the Grade I, $300,000 Ogden Phipps Handicap from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y.; the Grade II, $300,000 Fleur de Lis Handicap from Churchill Downs; and the Grade II, $250,000 Californian from Hollywood Park in Inglewood, Calif. All races will air live Saturday on ESPN from 5:00-7:00 p.m. (ET).

The NTRA National Pick 4 carries a $400,000 gross pool guarantee, has a $1.00 minimum wager amount and will be hubbed as a separate card event by Belmont Park with a 25% takeout. To wager, fans should ask for “National Pick 4.” The first leg of the NTRA National Pick 4 will be the Ogden Phipps Handicap, which has a scheduled post time of 5:15 p.m. (ET). The Ogden Phipps will be followed in order by the Fleur de Lis (5:41 p.m. ET), the Stephen Foster (6:13 p.m. ET) and the Californian (6:45 p.m. ET).

“We are again delighted to link a national wager with a prominent national telecast,” said Kenneth E. Kirchner, the NTRA’s senior vice president for product development. “This NTRA National Pick 4 promises strong fields all around and should pose a compelling handicapping challenge to fans seeking a lucrative return.”

STEPHEN FOSTER HANDICAP: A strong field of ten handicap stars will square off in this 1 1/8-miles contest for horses age three-and-up. Included are 2003 Stephen Foster winner Perfect Drift, a four-time Breeders’ Cup Classic participant; Brass Hat, winner of the Donn and New Orleans Handicaps and a second-place finisher in last March’s Dubai World Cup in his most recent race; California shipper Buzzards Bay, winner of the All American and Oaklawn Handicaps; Love of Money, West Virginia, Wiggins, Wild Desert, M B Sea, Seek Gold and Cosmonaut. Last year’s Stephen Foster was won by 2005 Horse of the Year Saint Liam.

FLEUR DE LIS HANDICAP: A small but talented group of six, led by 2005 Ballerina Stakes winner Happy Ticket, was entered for the 1 1/8-miles race for fillies and mares age three-and-up. Also slated to run are a pair of horses trained by Todd Pletcher: Oonagh Maccool, winner of last month’s Louisville Breeders’ Cup and La Reason. Gallant Secret, Soul Search and Character Builder complete the field.

OGDEN PHIPPS HANDICAP: Take d’Tour, an impressive winner of the Shuvee Handicap at Belmont Park last month, and Spun Sugar, winner of the Apple Blossom Handicap last April, head a quality group of five fillies and mares age three-and-up expected to see action in this 1 1/16-miles event. Other probable starters include Bending Strings, Nothing But Fun and Balleto.

THE CALIFORNIAN: The Bob Baffert-trained Preachinatthebar, winner of the Texas Mile in his last race, heads the prospective field in this 1 1/8-miles race for horses age three-and-up. Challengers include Super Frolic, Dixie Meister, Spellbinder, Yes He’s a Pistol, Melanyhasthepapers and Ice Cole.

Additional NTRA National Pick 4 wagers will be offered on Saturday, August 12 (ABC, 4:00-6:00 p.m. ET) as part of the “Road to the Breeders’ Cup World Championships – Powered by Dodge” series and on Saturday, September 30 (ESPN, 4:00-6:00 p.m. ET), Saturday, October 7 (ESPN2, 4:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday, October 14 (ESPN, 4:00-6:00 p.m. ET) as part of the “Emirates Airline Countdown to the Breeders’ Cup” series.