07/06/2007 12:00AM

Rags to Riches prompts TV shift


The presence of Belmont Stakes winner Rags to Riches in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks at Belmont Park on July 21, has prompted officials from ESPN to make a dramatic change to its television schedule.

The CCA Oaks, restricted to 3-year-old fillies, was to be shown on delayed tape during a one-hour broadcast on ESPN2 that was to have originated from Del Mar and included live coverage of the San Diego Handicap beginning at

7 p.m. Eastern. Now, the CCA Oaks will be shown live on ESPN in a one-hour telecast from Belmont beginning at 5 p.m. Eastern. There will be no live coverage of the San Diego.

"Rags to Riches is a story," said David Miller, the senior coordinating producer for horse racing at ESPN. "She was a huge story in the Belmont, being the first filly to win in 102 years. We want to document it and be the source of record for the sport."

Miller didn't say if ESPN would make other alterations to air future Rags to Riches races. ESPN is already scheduled to air the Travers live on Aug. 25. Currently, there is no television coverage scheduled for the Alabama on Aug. 18, which is likely to be Rags to Riches's one appearance at the Spa.

"We'll see how the rest of the season goes," Miller said.