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 LOUISVILLE, Ky. April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- On May 2, millions of

Russians will witness another historic chapter in their journey toward capitalism by sharing in this American tradition: Live television viewing of the 118th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs. In another symbol of capitalism, several U.S. companies will help underwrite the program by airing television commercials in the Russian originated programming. Sponsors include:
 - Delta Airlines
 - Kentucky Department of Travel Development
 - Louisville/Jefferson County Office of Economic Development
 - Louisville Convention and Visitors Bureau
 - Greater Louisville Economic Development Partnership
 - Churchill Downs Incorporated
 Officials commenting on the significance of the announcement included Mayor Jerry Abramson and Judge/Executive Dave Armstrong. "The Kentucky Derby is a premier marketing tool for our community, not just nationally, but internationally," said Abramson. "This chance to showcase Louisville is truly a unique opportunity. No other community has an event with such world-wide appeal."
 "The recent changes in Russia have opened some tremendous opportunities for us," Armstrong said, "I have hosted Russian visitors here and have maintained contact with the officials I have met. I am delighted that we will be getting our message out to this new audience through such a wonderful means as the Kentucky Derby."
 Governor Brereton Jones said that the state is delighted to help in supporting this international event.
 "I am delighted that for the first time in history the people of Russia will be able to join Kentucky Derby fans around the world to see the greatest two minutes in sports," said Governor Brereton Jones. "This is a great progressive step for the Kentucky Derby and will add millions of people in seeing Kentucky's lead position in thoroughbred racing and in experiencing the great economic potential of our state," Jones added.Representatives of Russian Television Network are cheduled to arrive in Louisville this week to prepare for coverage. They will originate feature coverage of festivities surrounding the Kentucky Derby and will then feature ABC-TV's live coverage of the race itself.
 "It is a privilege for us to be the focus of Russian television," said Churchill Downs President Tom Meeker. "We feel the Russian people will enjoy the excitement and festivities that highlight the Derby." "It's also significant that the Greater Louisville Partnership in conjunction with the Mayor, the County Judge, the Governor and local business have worked together to make this historic event a reality." Russian Television Network interest in televising the race arose from reports by a group of Russians who visited Churchill Downs during a tour of the city last fall.
 "They had a lot of fun," said Meeker, "and they were amazed that anyone who chose to could come to Churchill Downs without invitation and attend the races." Meeker also expressed his appreciation for the cooperation of ABC Sports in making the Russian telecast possible. In addition to being telecast live in Russia (12:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. because of the time difference), the program will be repeated the following day and possibly numerous other times.
 -0- 4/23/92
 /CONTACT: Karl Schmitt, Churchill Downs Incorporated, 502-636-4400/ CO: Churchill Downs Incorporated ST: Kentucky SU: IN:

DF -- CH025 -- 2138 04/23/92 16:45 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 23, 1992

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