11/01/2006 12:00AM

Only one way to catch BC telecast


ETOBICOKE, Ontario - For the first time since its inception in 1984, the Breeders' Cup telecast will not be available on regular cable television in Canada. The Sports Network, which gained the Canadian rights to the Breeders' Cup when ESPN took over south of the border, will air the program on its high-definition channel.

To receive TSN HD, a customer must have a high-definition-capable television set, an HD cable box or satellite receiver, and a subscription to the TSN HD service, usually through a multiple HD channel package.

Stewart Johnston, senior director of programming for TSN, explained that TSN's standard-definition channel was unable to air the Breeders' Cup telecast due to prior programming commitments to a professional golf event.

Johnston said that the Breeders' Cup program initially was not scheduled to air in any form in Canada until arrangements were made for the HD telecast, which begins at 12:30 p.m.

"TSN did approach other conventional and cable networks to inquire about their interest in televising the Breeders' Cup," said Johnston via e-mail. "However, other networks were in the same situation as TSN and had prior programming commitments."

Next year, Johnston said, there will be no conflict between the Breeders' Cup and a golf event.

Meanwhile, customers of the Woodbine-based HPItv (HorsePlayer Interactive television) will be able to watch Saturday's live Churchill Downs simulcast signal, which includes all of the Breeders' Cup Day races. HPItv is available to satellite and digital cable customers who subscribe to the service.

Early Breeders' Cup betting

Advance wagering on Saturday's Breeders' Cup and Woodbine cards will open at 3 p.m. on Friday. Pick three, Win 4, and pick six wagering will not be available until the conclusion of Friday's Woodbine card. The mutuels will open at 11 a.m. on Saturday for the Breeders' Cup and Woodbine programs.

Canadian horseplayers will be wagering directly into the Churchill Downs pools. The Breeders' Cup pick six pool will require a minimum Canadian base bet of $3.

Here it's Ontario Fashion Day

Saturday's live 11-race card will begin at 11:55 a.m., with post time for the 11th and final race set for 5:55 p.m.

The Woodbine betting profile includes doubles on the first two and last two races, pick threes beginning on all races except race 4, which is the first leg of the Win 4, and a pick seven starting with race 2. Superfectas will be offered on the fifth, eighth, and 11th races.

Saturday's feature is the $125,000 Ontario Fashion, a six-furlong race for fillies and mares. While Hide and Chic and Count to Three will attract most of the attention in the Ontario Fashion, there is a longshot possibility in the form of Culpeper Moon.

A Virginia-bred 5-year-old who will be making her second start for trainer Martin Drexler, Culpeper Moon is coming off a second-place finish behind Count to Three in the six-furlong allowance prep for the Ontario Fashion here Oct. 15. Purchased privately by owner Stuart Hyman earlier this year, Culpeper Moon was trained here by Mike Keogh before being given a break at nearby Windfields Farm and coming back to Woodbine for new trainer Drexler.

"I really only had her for about two weeks before that last race," said Drexler, who is racing here this fall for the first time following a solid campaign at Winnipeg's Assiniboia Downs. "I breezed her, not necessarily aiming for that prep, but she ran real well in there. And, she's training a lot more forwardly since that race. She definitely takes hold of the bit a lot stronger."

Alan Cuthbertson, who was the leading rider at Assiniboia Downs and moved here following the end of that meeting, retains the mount on Culpeper Moon.

Drexler and Hyman also have a second Ontario Fashion entrant in Givememore, a 5-year-old who finished last of seven in the prep while making her first start in five months.

"I don't have anywhere else to run her," said Drexler. "I might leave her in there just to give her a race."

* Saturday's scheduled supporting feature, the $75,000 Sunny's Halo, was scrapped after attracting just four entrants. The Sunny's Halo, a 6 1/2-furlong race for Ontario-foaled 2-year-olds, is an overnight stakes and required at least five separate betting interests to be carded.