ESPN has launched a new podcast series ESPN Investigates that looks into real life stories and scandals in American sports. The first season Bloodlines focuses on thoroughbred horses and the business of racing. All episodes are available now.

What’s Happening:

  • Ahead of this weekend’s Kentucky Derby, ESPN debuted a new podcast, Bloodlines. The show is written and told by senior writer Wright Thompson.
  • The three-part series is the first podcast in ESPN’s new storytelling feed, ESPN Investigates.
  • The podcast begins with questions about the mysterious recent death of thoroughbred horses in California and ends with troubling answers about how the changing business of racing – once America’s most popular sport – has impacted every part of the sport, including the blood of the horses themselves.
  • All three episodes are available now on:

About ESPN Investigates:

  • This new ESPN Investigates collection of podcasts will be home to fascinating deep dives across the world of sports and will feature investigative reporting that uncovers hidden truths and introduces unforgettable characters.
  • Following Bloodlines will be The Running Man, the story of an obscure former Olympian and alleged serial sexual predator – and the 14-month ESPN investigation that brought him out of the shadows.
  • Additional podcasts to be announced.

What They’re Saying: 

  • Wright Thompson: “Bloodlines is part investigation, part true crime story, and part meditation on the future of a sport and of an American way of life. We hope folks will agree with us that it is unlike any podcast in the market – rich storytelling, deep consideration, and reveals that make you rethink things you may have thought you’ve known.”
  • Alison Overholt, Senior Vice President, Multiplatform Storytelling and Journalism: “We know sports fans really connect with our investigative features across various platforms, on stories both familiar and unexplored. Curating these stories into an ‘ESPN Investigates’ feed gives this incredible reporting a home, and we’re thrilled that Wright’s fascinating series Bloodlines, featuring his signature immersive storytelling, will be the first to premiere.”

Episode Lineup

Episode 1 – “When A Horse Dies”

  • An examination of the 49 dead horses at Santa Anita. This episode examines the theories into what happened and the effect it has all had on the people who live and work at the track.

Episode 2 – “Inheritance”

  • A look into the history of thoroughbred horse racing in America from the family dynasties that rose during the Industrial Revolution all the way through the 20th century, when a possible murder changed all of this from a sport to a business.

Episode 3 – “The House Is Condemned”

  • A trip to the breeding farms of Kentucky where the fastest horses in the world are made, but not without also passing on the dangerous defects in their blood. All of this will lead us to examine the question: What is the future of horse racing?