The Breeders’ Cup and ESPN have gotten together on a deal to help promote this year’s Breeders’ Cup, which will be held for a record second consecutive year at Santa Anita’s Oak Tree meet.
During a break on its college football doubleheader on Saturday, Oct. 10, ESPN will televise one of two races from Oak Tree — the $350,000 Goodwood Stakes, expected to include Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird, or the $300,000 Lady’s Secret Stakes, scheduled to be the unbeaten Zenyatta’s final prep for an expected start in the Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic on Nov. 6.
Mine That Bird is winless in three starts since his Derby win, but the gelding developed quite a following since finding the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs on May 2. He skipped the Travers Stakes because of minor throat surgery.
Zenyatta could tie Personal Ensign’s undefeated record of 13-0 with a victory in the Lady’s Secret. She’s 3-0 in 2009, including a victory in the Clement Hirsch at Del Mar on Aug. 9 when she had no pace to run at yet staged an amazing closing surge to remain unbeaten.
ESPN will also televise Breeders’ Cup prep races from Keeneland on Oct. 11 and Toronto and Great Britain on Oct. 17. The Breeders’ Cup will be held Nov. 6-7, with ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Classic televising the races.