The New York Racing Association announced March 13 an expanded partnership with FOX Sports, which will result in additional live shows broadcast across all three NYRA-operated tracks.
In total, 46 live shows are scheduled to be shown on FS2, covering exciting racing action across Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, and Saratoga Race Course. The partnership will build on the successful debut of Saratoga Live in 2016, which was recognized for extraordinary achievement in Daily Racing Presentation at the 24th annual International Simulcast Conference last September.
"We are thrilled to expand on last year's schedule and partner with FOX to bring more coverage of the best racing in the country," said Tony Allevato, president of NYRA Bets and executive producer for NYRA TV. "FOX Sports continues to show their commitment to delivering horse racing content to sports fans on a continuous basis."
"All of us at FOX Sports are proud to expand our relationship with NYRA and to present more of the best of Thoroughbred racing with additional shows from Aqueduct and Belmont," said Michael Mulvihill, executive vice president of research, league operations, and strategy for FOX Sports. "Wagering on horse racing is trending up and more races are available on national TV than ever before. We're happy to be part of NYRA's strategy for the continued growth of this great game."
FS2 will broadcast three live Saturday shows in April from Aqueduct Racetrack, Aqueduct Live, starting on Wood Memorial Day, April 8 from 3-5:30 p.m ET, along with shows on April 15 and 22. Belmont Park Live will debut on Saturday, April 29, with additional shows scheduled for May 27, Memorial Day on May 29, June 3, and June 24. Saratoga Live is slated to feature 36 shows in 2017, expanding on its well-received 2016 campaign that saw NYRA produce an unprecedented 80 hours of live racing telecasts that aired nationally on FOX Sports. Over the course of the seven-week meet, the programs covered 40 stakes races, setting a strong foundation heading into 2017.
Claiborne Farm is the presenting sponsor of the NYRA Live programming, produced by the NYRA TV team, which, starting in April, will air on Saturdays for both the Aqueduct and Belmont meets and will include a stakes race on each show as well as live coverage of selected stakes races from outside New York.
"We are excited to be the presenting sponsor of NYRA's national broadcasts, and look forward to another year of outstanding coverage of thoroughbred racing across New York's finest tracks," said Walker Hancock, Claiborne Farm's managing director.
NYRA will build on the success of broadcasting the biggest days in racing from tracks nationally by airing live coverage of the grade 2, $1.25 million Charles Town Classic on April 22. This follows last year's telecast of the International Festival of Racing from Arlington International Racecourse, which included live coverage of a trio of grade 1 races; the Arlington Million, Beverly D., and the Secretariat.
Claiborne Farm, one of the most influential breeding operations in the world, is home to War Front , Orb , and Runhappy , the recently retired champion sprinter of 2015 who is being offered as a first-year sire in Paris, Kentucky, and is also a supporter of NYRA Live. Established in 1910 by Arthur B. Hancock, Claiborne Farm is a multiple Eclipse Award-winner as Outstanding Breeder, and its long list of outstanding stallions includes Secretariat, Bold Ruler, and Mr. Prospector.
"Team Runhappy is thrilled to support the New York Racing Association," said James McIngvale, the owner of Gallery Racing. "We appreciate the passion NYRA has shown for Thoroughbred racing, and we're excited for their plans for the future."
With seven weeks of coverage beginning in July 2016, Saratoga Live provided key analysis to horseplayers and fans in a 2 1/2-hour time block by showcasing daily racing from Saratoga. Its launch was followed closely by the unveiling of NYRA Bets, NYRA's national advance deposit wagering platform now available to horseplayers across the country.
The broadcast team for NYRA's live programming will include NYRA TV handicapper Andy Serling, host Greg Wolf, paddock reporter Maggie Wolfendale, former champion jockey Richard Migliore, and track announcer Larry Collmus. Trainer Tom Amoss and renowned analyst Gabby Gaudet will again join the team for the 2017 Saratoga meet.
NYRA's carriage partnership with FOX Sports again represents the most extensive national television deal in horse racing history and will result in more programming hours of racing than all other national television networks in the United States combined.