Dave Harmon

TVG Ready to Launch Santa Anita Coverage

Network to add premier winter meet to its schedule Dec. 26; betting contest panned.

TVG will add the upcoming 71-day winter race meet at Santa Anita Park to its broadcast schedule. The addition means that coverage of the major California stand will now be available to the most homes in the meet's 76-year history.

"Having the Santa Anita meet on TVG will provide a significant boost for California racing," said Tony Allevato, TVG executive vice president. "Along with airing the races on the most widely distributed horse racing television network in the country, we have secured major programming blocs on a number of Fox Sports affiliates, including FSN Prime, FSN West and Fox Sports San Diego. As a result, Santa Anita racing will enjoy wider everyday household distribution than at any time in its history, and will be available in more than 45 million homes."

The Santa Anita meet runs Dec. 26 through April 21, and features 41 graded stakes, highlighted by the $750,000 Santa Anita Handicap (gr. I) March 2, and the $750,000 Santa Anita Derby (gr. I) April 6.

The meet previously was broadcast exclusively over The Stronach Group's television network, HRTV, which has a more limited distribution than TVG. The California Horse Racing Board has been pressing Santa Anita, also owned by The Stronach Group, to enlarge its television viewership. HRTV will continue to air the meet from Santa Anita.

"Offering a rich history and tradition, the Santa Anita winter meet helps kick off the racing season in grand style," said Allevato. "TVG is thrilled to bring our fans all the action, as we begin the most extensive television coverage of California racing available."

To celebrate its new Santa Anita coverage, TVG will launch the "California Dreamin' Betting Contest." The promotion will award six weekly cash prizes totaling $20,000 and a grand prize trip to California that includes attendance at either the Santa Anita Derby (gr. I), the Hollywood Gold Cup (gr. I), opening day at Del Mar, or the TVG Pacific Classic (gr. I).

The "California Dreamin' Betting Contest" will run Saturdays from Dec. 29 through Feb. 2, 2013. It will involve wagering on races from Santa Anita, Aqueduct Racetrack, and Tampa Bay Downs.