“Summer at Saratoga” Series Includes 8 Hour-Long Shows; 5 on VERSUS and 3 on NBC, Including Famed Travers Stakes on August 27
NEW YORK – July 19, 2011 – The NBC Sports Group’s seven straight weekends of “Summer at Saratoga” live horse racing from Saratoga Race Course begins this Saturday, 5-6 p.m. ET on NBC with coverage of the Coaching Club American Oaks, a race for three-year-old fillies expected to include graded stakes winners Buster’s Ready, It’s Tricky, Plum Pretty, Joyful Victory, and Royal Delta.
COMMENTATORS: Saturday’s coverage will be hosted by Tom Hammond alongside Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, handicapper Mike Battaglia and reporter Kenny Rice. NBC will take the race call from the Saratoga track announcer, the legendary Tom Durkin.
ABOUT THE BROADCAST: The NBC Sports broadcast will feature live coverage of the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks and one undercard race. Coverage will include a feature on John Velazquez, who won the Kentucky Derby aboard Animal Kingdom, and last year, won the Coaching Club American Oaks aboard Devil May Care. There will also be a feature on the long, storied history of horse racing at Saratoga.
NBCSports.com will feature highlights and features from every race, plus online-only features by NBC Sports and Versus’ on-air talent.
In May, The New York Racing Association (NYRA) and the NBC Sports Group announced a partnership to broadcast “Summer at Saratoga,” the most extensive live national television coverage of racing from Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., over seven weekends this summer beginning this Saturday and including the famed $1 million Travers Stakes on August 27.
NBC SPORTS GROUP SUMMER AT SARATOGA COVERAGE (All Times ET)
July 23, Coaching Club American Oaks, 5-6 p.m., NBC
July 30, Diana and Jim Dandy, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS
Aug. 6, Whitney and Test, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS
Aug. 7, Vanderbilt and Honorable Miss, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS
Aug. 13, Sword Dancer, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS
Aug. 20, Alabama, 5-6 p.m., NBC
Aug. 27, Travers and King’s Bishop, 5-6 p.m., NBC
Sept. 3, Woodward and Forego, 5-6 p.m., VERSUS
Saratoga Race Course was named one of the world’s top 10 venues of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. From late July through Labor Day, many of the sport’s top owners, trainers, jockeys, and horses gather in Saratoga Springs for the premier thoroughbred racing meet in the country. First held in 1863, the Saratoga meet now draws more than 20,000 passionate racing fans to the track on a daily basis.
NBC SPORTS AND HORSE RACING: The NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to Horse Racing’s Triple Crown. This year marked the first time that all three races were broadcast on one network since NBC last aired the Triple Crown in 2005. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001.
NYRA: Founded in 1955, and franchised to run thoroughbred racing at New York’s three major tracks through 2033, NYRA boasts a lineage that actually stretches back almost 150 years. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of the state’s thoroughbred business which contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State’s urban, suburban and rural economy. In 2010, more than 1.6 million people attended the live races at NYRA tracks. Factoring in nationwide off-track wagering, the average daily betting handle on NYRA races totals more than $8.7 million. NYRA has a vast network of websites, including http://www.nyra.com/”>http://www.nyra.com, http://www.belmontstakes.com/”>http://www.belmontstakes.com, and http://www.nyragroupsales.com/”>http://www.nyragroupsales.com. You can also follow NYRA on social media platforms http://www.facebook.com/thenyra”>Facebook, http://www.flickr.com/photos/nyraphoto”>Flickr, http://twitter.com/nyranews”>Twitter, and http://www.youtube.com/nyravideo”>YouTube.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–