(Edited press release)
TVG announced July 25 that it will offer extended opening weekend coverage from Saratoga to air July 28-29. Opening weekend will include the debut of the $25,000 Breeders' Cup Challenge contest for TVG account holders.
The network will feature lead-in coverage of the first running of the new Breeders' Cup Challenge series on July 28, followed by TVG's live coverage of the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) the following day, with Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (gr. I) winner Street Sense expected to run. The Jim Dandy, a 1 1/8 mile race for 3-year-olds, is a major prep race for the $1 million Travers Stakes (gr. I) at Saratoga Aug. 25.
The four Breeders' Cup Challenge series races July 28 are the first in the new 24-race series which sends winners to divisional races in the Breeders' Cup World Championships at Monmouth Park Oct. 26-27.
TVG is celebrating the debut of the Challenge series with the introduction of the $25,000 Breeders' Cup Challenge contest, a handicapping competition for account holders where a contestant must select the winner of each race in the Challenge series on each racing day, beginning at Saratoga. If there is no winner on a Challenge series race day, the prize money carries over to the next contest day.
Analysts Todd Schrupp, Gary Stevens, Simon Bray, and Jill Byrne will be on site to provide commentary from Saratoga. TVG will air lead-in coverage and post-race analysis for the following Saturday races:
-The Whitney Handicap (gr. I), a qualifier for the Breeders' Cup Classic, Powered by Dodge (gr. I). The Whitney, for 3-year-olds and up, carries a purse of $750,000 and will be contested at 1 1/8 miles.
-The Diana Handicap (gr. IT), a qualifier for the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Turf (gr. IT). The Diana, a 1 1/8 mile turf event for fillies and mares 3-years-old and up, offers a purse of $500,000.
-The Go for Wand Handicap (gr. I), a qualifier for the Emirates Airline Breeders' Cup Distaff (gr. I). The Go for Wand, with a purse of $250,000, will feature fillies and mares 3-years-old and up racing 1-1/8 miles.
-The Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap (gr. II), a qualifier for the TVG Breeders' Cup Sprint (gr. I). The Vanderbilt, for 3-year-olds and up, will be contested at six furlongs and offers a purse of $250,000.