FOX Sports and The Jockey Club announced Aug. 8 a multi-year agreement to air prominent graded stakes races starting in 2014 from many of horse racing's best known tracks on FOX Sports 1.
The new sports network FOX Sports 1 launches Aug. 17. The newly created package of nationally televised races will begin early next year and consists of up to 10 telecasts per year. Each telecast includes two top stakes races featuring the leading horses in North America.
The agreement also includes international and Spanish-language rights, including the ability to air races on FOX Deportes, the nation's leading Spanish-language sports network The announcement was made by FOX Sports executive vice president of production and executive producer John Entz and The Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills Phipps.
"We're proud to partner with The Jockey Club and to place a bet on the future of Thoroughbred racing," said Entz. "FOX Sports 1 is all about making sports more fun, and few events in sports are as much fun as a day at a great racetrack. Our partnership with The Jockey Club highlights the elements that make horse racing fun: the power and grace of the Thoroughbred, the challenging puzzle of handicapping, and the social aspect of a day at the races. We look forward to showcasing the highest level of competition in one of the most storied of all sports."
"The Jockey Club is thrilled to be joining forces with FOX Sports to showcase many of this country's most prestigious races before a national television audience," said Phipps. "Increasing the national television presence of Thoroughbred racing continues to be a key component of our fan retention and development efforts under the America's Best Racing banner, and it will be gratifying to see Thoroughbred racing alongside Major League Baseball, college basketball, college football, NASCAR, and UFC events on the new FOX Sports 1."
The race series features graded stakes races from some of the most historic racetracks in North America, including Del Mar, Gulfstream Park, Keeneland, Santa Anita Park, and Woodbine, as well as the race tracks of the New York Racing Association.
The new series premieres on FOX Sports 1 Feb. 9, 2014, from Gulfstream Park in Hallandale, Florida and features the Donn Handicap (gr. I) and the Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap (gr. I). The complete 2014 schedule of races will be released at a later date.
The race series spotlights many horses that previously competed in Triple Crown races.