The New York Racing Association July 10 announced the hiring of veteran horse racing analyst and Major League Baseball All-Star Paul Lo Duca. The Brooklyn-native will make his "Saratoga Live" debut July 21, opening day of the 2017 summer meet at Saratoga Race Course.
"As a native New Yorker, and lifelong racing fan, I'm honored to join the talented broadcast team doing such great work on Saratoga Live," said Lo Duca. "NYRA is producing the most innovative television coverage in the sport and I'm excited to become a part of it."
Lo Duca will serve as an analyst on NYRA's acclaimed "Saratoga Live" program, joining a broadcast team that includes host Greg Wolf, handicapper Andy Serling, trainer Tom Amoss, paddock analyst Maggie Wolfendale, and analyst Gabby Gaudet.
"Paul is one of the most dynamic and captivating personalities in racing. As a former Major League All-Star he brings an athlete's perspective to the show," said Tony Allevato, president of NYRA Bets and executive producer of NYRA TV. "We are thrilled to have him join the Saratoga Live team."
Lo Duca recently wrapped up about a nine-year run at TVG. Before joining TVG in 2009—when hired by then TVG executive vice president for television Allevato—Lo Duca played 11 seasons in Major League Baseball from 1998-2008, earning four All-Star selections for three different franchises from 2003-06 as a catcher.
Lo Duca starred for Arizona State University, where he was drafted in 1993 by Los Angeles. He played parts of his first seven big-league seasons with the Dodgers before being traded to the Marlins in the middle of the 2004 campaign. Lo Duca was then traded to the Mets, where he backstopped the club to a 97-win regular season and an appearance in the National League Championship Series. He concluded his career with the Washington Nationals in 2008.
Lo Duca also has had a lifelong passion for horse racing as well and will continue in an analyst role for Saratoga Live.
"I was a racetrack bum when I was a kid. My dad owned horses at Turf Paradise. I was on the backstretch a lot," said Lo Duca, who said it took fans some time to take his horse racing analysis seriously when he first started. He said that has changed though. "For me, I always feel like the ultimate compliment is when people come up to me and compliment me for my horse racing work."
Lo Duca loves being associated with New York-based show.
"It’s really cool to go back. My fan base there is just awesome," Lo Duca said. "I grew up a Mets fan; born in Brooklyn. I think people identify with who I am. Yeah, I’m pumped.
"It’s the right situation for me to go back and work with the team they already have. I feel like I’m an add-on. I love all the love I’m getting, but they have a great team already and I know I have my work cut out for me."
"Saratoga Live," presented by Claiborne Farm, will be available in 75 million households nationally through Fox Sports 2 and regionally through MSG+, Fox Sports Prime Ticket, Fox Sports San Diego, Fox Sports Ohio, and the Altitude Sports Network.