11 Graded Stakes Highlight TVG's Weekend Coverage

Edited from a release

TVG will cover 11 graded Thoroughbred stakes races May 28-31, including Monday's grade I Metropolitan Mile from Belmont Park. Coverage will also include the MBNA Texas Challenge Championship for Quarter Horses.

The Met Mile is one of the handicap division's premier mile races on dirt, boasting such past winners as Holy Bull, Forego, Buckpasser, Sword Dancer, Gallant Man, and Native Dancer. Post time for the Met Mile is scheduled for 5:16 p.m. EDT, with a field of nine expected. The race will be simulcast on Fox Sports Net.

Headlining the Met Mile is the expected appearance of multiple champion Azeri, the 2002 Horse of the Year, making her debut against males. Trained by D. Wayne Lukas, a win by Azeri in the Met Mile would make her the all-time leading North American female money winner. But Azeri, who gets rider Pat Day for the first time in her racing career, will not have an easy time. Set to compete against her is 2003 Kentucky Derby (gr. I) and Preakness Stakes (gr. I) winner Funny Cide; the top two finishers in last month's grade I Carter Handicap, Pico Central and Strong Hope, as well as Bowman's Band, Eye of the Tiger, Gygistar, Mobil, and Saarland.

Also airing on TVG this coming weekend are 10 additional graded stakes, including a pair of grade I events--the Gamely Breeders' Cup Handicap and the Shoemaker Breeders' Cup Mile--both on Monday from Hollywood Park. Things kick off Saturday with a pair of grade II races--the Sheepshead Bay Handicap from Belmont and the Lazaro S. Barrera Memorial from Hollywood, and a pair of grade III races - the Early Times Mint Julep from Churchill Downs and the Hanshin Cup from Arlington Park.

On Sunday TVG will cover the grade III Jaipur at Belmont and the grade III Dogwood Breeders' Cup at Churchill. In addition to the three grade I races on Monday, also slated are the grade III Memorial Day Handicap from Calder in Miami and the grade III Louisville Handicap from Churchill.