10/29/2013 2:40PM

Breeders' Cup: Rome is racing ambassador

Benoit Photo
Jim Rome, shown with Mizdirection in 2011, has an ownership stake in the Breeders' Cup Turf Sprint's defending champion.

It takes a lot to make Jim Rome miss work, but the allure of the Breeders’ Cup is enough to make the 49-year-old sports-talk superstar take off Friday to be on hand at Santa Anita.

Rome owns a stake in Mizdirection, the defending champion in the $1 million BC Turf Sprint on Saturday. Mike Puype, the trainer of Mizdirection, said Rome will be here Friday and Saturday not only as a co-owner but as one of 15 Breeders’ Cup ambassadors who receive VIP treatment as they help to spread the word about horse racing to the world at large.

“Jim is freaky in love with this game,” Puype said. “With the huge audience he has, and as much time as he spends talking about racing on his shows, the sport is extremely fortunate to have him. He goes out and gives us all this free publicity and is completely genuine about it. It’s great.”

Rome is the longtime host of a syndicated radio show estimated to have 2.5 million daily listeners in the United States and Canada, as well as a CBS Sports television show that began last year.

[BREEDERS’ CUP 2013: Fields with DRF odds and comments]


Ghostzapper More than 1 year ago
I used to catch the radio show until a couple years ago when my schedule didn't afford for it anymore. I picked him because there was really nothing else, but I grew to like it pretty quick. I know people will sorta mock the ambassador tag they slap on people, but he's one of the best they've labeled that. Others include Kate Upton, Toby Keith, and Bo Derek, for reference. He reaches a big audience for 'a good word' to go a long way. The problem is that you can't watch horse racing from home, not as easily as the past. Only the Classic is being broadcast on a channel that anyone can watch. If you wanna catch the other 13 races, NBC Sports is your option. And really, thank California for always streaming their races to the internet (which I know the Breeders' Cup website picks it up for these days, but still) Because for a 'dying' game it sure isn't reaching out to too many young fans. It's not accessible enough. He might not make a huge impact, but he IS helping the game.
Ghostzapper More than 1 year ago
And I nearly forgot, even if you do have NBC Sports Network, you don't get to watch the Juvenile Fillies on Saturday. I know they are in love with not showing the first race on Saturday recently, but it's still a Breeders' Cup race I wanna watch it on TV...
Lou Severino More than 1 year ago
Juv. Fillies WILL be shown during the Notre Dame pre-game show Saturday at 3:05 on NBC Sports Network.
Ghostzapper More than 1 year ago
I had not heard that, thank you for directing this to my attention. Scratch my reply, then. :)
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
I've listened to Jim Rome since he was a Saturday fill-in and gave out blockhead awards. This was 1990. He's come a long way. This guy used to say horse racing was a bet and not a sport. A big turn around for Jim and a guy that can definitely spread the word to the younger generation.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
Well said
David Medina More than 1 year ago
I am so relieved to read that Rome is getting VIP treatment from the Breeders Cup as an 'ambassador'. If not, the poor guy had no other option than 'slumming it on the apron'.
MD23 More than 1 year ago
I don't think it hurts horse racing for a guy like him who has a lot of fans to speak well about the sport. I'm all for it. I'm in school and one of the things we learned about in my communications class the other day is that using authority/public figures to speak well about something is a good persuading/advertising tactic. People trust authority/public figures. If they speak well about something, most likely people from the general public will take a look into what they are advertising. I think this is great.
GuyFleegman1 More than 1 year ago
Racing Ambassador?? stop it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You stop it. Some of us would like horse racing to be around for a while. For that to be the case, we might need to attract new fans. He is a wildly popular sports radio host with a large audience.
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
He has no clue Anonymous, his next post will be, lower the takeout!!! Like a ten year old girl/boy knows what that is. Or some college student wanting to have some fun with his friends on the weekend even cares. That's why racing is dying star horses not running enough, No positive media coverage, younger people no interest.
Lawrence Macselwiney More than 1 year ago
Keep preaching brother. I'm with ya. we do need the take-outs lower though. lol
rahman Williams More than 1 year ago
I agree with you as well, but there be no take out for the track, if people stop bringing there families to the track. More exposure, the good kind.
James Eccles More than 1 year ago
Better than Lori Petty