04/02/2004 1:00AM

Racing to star on reality show


A reality television show pitting six new Thoroughbred owners against each other will be put into production this fall by GSN, a network devoted to games.

"This is going to have all the things that make reality television so popular," said Rich Cronin, the president of GSN, on Friday. "We're going to have fans whose dreams have been to own a horse, and we're going to have rivalries, and bickering, and a lot of jockeying for position, pun intended."

The show, called "American Dream Derby," will give six racing fans $25,000 each with which to claim a horse. The fans will then be divided into two teams, each led by a trainer. The trainers will help each contestant select a horse, and will then train the horses up to a race pitting all six claimed horses against each other.

The race will be broadcast live sometime in December or January, Cronin said.

Cronin said that contestants will be selected this summer out of auditions at racetracks. Applications for an audition will be available at GSN's website beginning May 1.

The trainers have not yet been selected to lead the two teams, Cronin said. Producers are also not sure if the claimed horses will run in parimutuel races while they are owned by the contestants.