09/09/2002 12:00AM

Breeders' Cup Mile gets sponsor


NetJets Inc., a company headed by racehorse owner Richard Santulli, has signed a multiyear contract to sponsor the Breeders' Cup Mile and several of its prep races, including two Group 1 stakes in Europe.

The agreement, announced Monday at Keeneland by officials from Breeders' Cup and NetJets, will make NetJets the title sponsor of the Mile, which will include the title rights to televised races leading up to it. The agreement also includes sponsorship rights to the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot in England and Prix du Moulin de Longchamp in France.

Details of the deal were not released, but NTRA officials said it was comparable with other title sponsorships, which typically run about $1 million a year. One official said the contract runs through 2004.

Ascot, Longchamp, and the National Thoroughbred Racing Association, which merged with Breeders' Cup last year, agreed to pursue marketing opportunities jointly earlier this year. The sponsor agreement with NetJets is the alliance's first contract.

NetJets allows customers to buy ownership shares in private business jets. Santulli, who races as Jayeff B Stable, founded NetJets in 1986 and sold it to Berkshire Hathaway, the investment group headed by Warren Buffett, in 1998.