Horse Sense at ESPN

NEW YORK ESPN Original Entertainment will produce a movie based on the 1970s racehorse Ruffian that will premiere on broadcast sibling ABC, in conjunction with the network’s airing of the Belmont Stakes.

The movie will first air on ABC in June 2007. It has not yet been decided if it will air in prime time or on Saturday afternoon preceding the telecast of the Belmont Stakes.

Ron Semiao, svp, EOE, will work with ABC Entertainment president Steve McPherson to determine when to best launch the movie. After airing on ABC, it will then run on ESPN, on the Internet via ESPN360 and on cable outlets via ESPN video-on-demand. Selected content from the movie will be made available on, ESPN Motion and Mobile ESPN.

Orly Adelson, the movie’s executive producer, also produced the recent EOE movie Code Breakers and the controversial ESPN series of two years ago, Playmakers.

Ruffian, who broke her leg in a match race in 1975 at Belmont Park and had to be put down, is buried at the racetrack.

ESPN is based in Bristol, Conn.