FOX Sports, the New York Racing Association, and The Stronach Group announced Jan. 26 a partnership to present FOX Sports Saturday at the Races, a new live racing television program sponsored by Claiborne Farm. Airing on FS2, the telecasts are scheduled to begin Feb. 3 and continue over six Saturdays in February and March, culminating with a 3 1/2-hour show March 31, headlined by the Xpressbet.com Florida Derby (G1).
FOX Sports Saturday at the Races will offer national coverage of marquee racing and feature several key Triple Crown prep races, including the Xpressbet.com Fountain of Youth Stakes (G2), Gotham Stakes (G3), the San Felipe Stakes (G2), and the Withers Stakes (G3).
"FOX Sports Saturday at the Races is going to be essential viewing for anyone following the Triple Crown trail," said Michael Mulvihill, FOX Sports executive vice president of research, league operations, and strategy. "These races have produced four of the past five Kentucky Derby champions, including the last two winners, and have jump-started the 3-year-old campaigns of legends from Secretariat to California Chrome .
"We look forward to presenting the best of the road to the Triple Crown, with the best team of handicappers in the business."
Executives from The Stronach Group and NYRA said it's a great opportunity to showcase racing.
"We're excited to partner with FOX Sports to highlight great Thoroughbred racing from across the country," said Tim Ritvo, The Stronach Group's chief operating officer. "FOX Sports Saturday at the Races will showcase many of the top 3-year-olds leading up to the Triple Crown. We look forward to being part of these great broadcasts."
"FOX Sports Saturday at the Races will provide fans across the country with an unprecedented level of national coverage of the best racing on the road to the Triple Crown," said Tony Allevato, president of NYRA Bets and executive producer of NYRA TV. "Thanks to FOX Sports and our partners at The Stronach Group, FS2 will shine a light on the best racing from Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Santa Anita throughout the next two months."
Hosted by Greg Wolf, FOX Sports Saturday at the Races will include commentary and analysis from a combination of FOX Sports, NYRA, and XBTV personalities, including Paul Lo Duca, Andy Serling, Maggie Wolfendale, Gabby Gaudet, Acacia Courtney, Richard Migliore, and Michelle Yu.
In conjunction with the telecasts of FOX Sports Saturday at the Races, NYRA will host a cross-county Pick 4, featuring races at Aqueduct, Gulfstream, and Santa Anita.
2018 schedule for FOX Sports Saturday at the Races (all times EST):
• 4-6:30 p.m.
• Featured races: grade 2 Holy Bull, grade 2 Forward Gal, and grade 2 Swale at Gulfstream Park; grade 3 Withers at Aqueduct Racetrack
• 4-6 p.m.
• Featured races: grade 1 Gulfstream Park Turf, and grade 3 Suwannee River at Gulfstream Park
• 6-6:30 p.m.
• Featured race: grade 2 Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park
• 4-6:30 p.m.
• Featured races: grade 3 Gotham, grade 3 Tom Fool, and Heavenly Prize at Aqueduct Racetrack; grade 2 San Felipe Stakes at Santa Anita Park; Silks Run at Gulfstream Park
Featured Races: grade 3 Hutcheson at Gulfstream Park; Maddie May at Aqueduct Racetrack
• 4-7:30 p.m. EST
• Featured races: grade 1 Florida Derby, grade 2 Hardacre Mile, grade 2 Gulfstream Park Oaks, grade 2 Honey Fox, and grade 2 Pan American at Gulfstream Park