This weekend, the ESPN family of networks will air horse racing’s year-end championships from the fabled Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY. ESPN has made this a two day affair with races on Friday and Saturday. ESPN2 airs all of the Friday races, then ABC and ESPN will split the races on Saturday. The big race, the Breeders’ Cup Classic featuring an unbeaten Zenyatta, the filly that is 19-0 and is vying to finish her career with an unblemished record, will be on the Mothership early Saturday evening.
We have the press release and the schedule of times.
The 27th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships will air live in high definition from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 5-6 on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2. ESPN will have more than nine hours of coverage dedicated to the 14 races, as both Friday and Saturday will finish under the lights for the first time in Breeders’ Cup history. The Breeders’ Cup marks the climactic end of the thoroughbred racing season.
This year’s event will be highlighted by undefeated mare Zenyatta, the first female horse to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic (2009) and winner of the 2008 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic. Known for her pre-race dance routine and dramatic finishes, she will be seeking her 20th straight win this week.
“Zenyatta just may be the greatest horse of all time. How can you argue with perfection?,” said jockey Mike Smith.
Championship Friday, Nov. 5, will begin at 4 p.m. ET on ESPN2 with six Breeders’ Cup Championship races, concluding with the $2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s racing will begin on ABC at 1:30 p.m. and continue on ESPN from 3:30-7 p.m. The Breeders’ Cup Classic: “Zenyatta, A Quest for Perfection” will run commercial free beginning at 6:15 p.m. ESPN3.com will stream the ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts live. ESPN’s coverage on Nov. 6 will also be available on ESPN Mobile TV and online through ESPNnetworks.com (available to Time Warner Cable customers).
Joe Tessitore will host with analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss, while Kenny Mayne will work with handicapper Hank Goldberg. Nick Luck will be the European horse analyst and Jeannine Edwards, Jay Privman, and Caton Bredar (on horseback) will serve as reporters. Steve Cyphers will interview key personalities in the sport and Jeremy Schaap will report from the winner’s circle. Trevor Denman will call the races and reporter Bill Nack will contribute essays for the ESPN telecast.
- “Zenyatta: Hollywood Overtime” – a screenplay feature about Zenyatta and her Hollywood-esque finishes in each race she competes;
- Zenyatta’s relationship with jockey Mike Smith and champion racehorse trainer John Shirrefs;
- A profile on horse racing in Kentucky, including an interview with University of Louisville basketball head coach Rick Pitino;
- And, a feature on American thoroughbred racehorse trainer Rick Dutrow.
The ESPN telecasts of the Breeders’ Cup will include more than 40 HD cameras positioned throughout Churchill Downs, including positions on a crane, helicopter, inside the starting gate, stewards’ room and two X-Mo cameras at the finish line.
ESPN360.com: Simulcasts of ESPN and ESPN2 on Friday and Saturday; SportsCenter: News and information, and features on Zenyatta leading up to and following the race. ESPN Radio: News and information updates; Outside the Lines: Feature on Zenyatta, as well as discussion of the horse’s legacy with Bill Nack and Randy Moss; First Take: News and information reporting, including an interview with Zenyatta jockey Mike Smith on Wed., Nov. 3. On Fri., Nov. 5, Randy Moss will debate Skip Bayless on First and Ten about Zenyatta’s chance for a repeat win; ESPN.com: “Cover it Live” chat with handicapper Terry Turrell and blogging on-site from Kenny Mayne and Zenyatta jockey Mike Smith. Additional features throughout the week will include Q&A’s with jockeys, Zenyatta’s arrival to Churchill Downs, Breeders’ Cup picks, video recaps and final thoughts of the Breeders’ Cup races, among others; ESPN Mobile TV: will simulcast the Breeders’ Cup live on ESPN, Sat., Nov. 6; ESPN International: Racing will be distributed via ESPN’s networks in Australia, New Zealand, Africa and the Middle East, and on ESPN’s HD networks in Australia, Brazil and Latin America. In addition, the Breeders’ Cup will be streamed live on ESPN broadband platforms in Latin America and Australia.
|Fri., Nov. 5||$500,000 Breeders’ Cup Marathon||4:10 p.m.||ESPN2|
|$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies Turf||4:50 p.m.||ESPN2|
|$1 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint||5:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies||6:10 p.m.||ESPN2|
|$2 million Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf||6:50 p.m.||ESPN2|
|$2 million Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic||7:30 p.m.||ESPN2|
|Sat., Nov. 6||$1 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf||1:50 p.m.||ABC|
|$2 million Breeders’ Cup Sprint||2:30 p.m.||ABC|
|$1 million Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint||3:15 p.m.||ABC|
|$2 million Breeders’ Cup Juvenile||3:55 p.m.||ESPN|
|$2 million Breeders’ Cup Mile||4:40 pm.||ESPN|
|$1 million Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile||5:20 p.m.||ESPN|
|$3 million Breeders’ Cup Turf||6 p.m.||ESPN|
|$5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic||6:45 p.m.||ESPN|
And there you have it.