Friday, March 27, 2009


New York, NY, March 27, 2009 – MSG Plus, in partnership with New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA), announced today a strong slate of live horse racing programming for this summer. MSG Plus will kick things off with the important Kentucky Derby prep race, the Wood Memorial, on Saturday, April 4, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Then starting on Saturday, August 1, the network will telecast five “Saturdays at Saratoga,” going live from the historic Saratoga Race Course for eight championship caliber stakes. Jason Blewitt, Eric Donovan and Andy Serling will provide commentary for the telecasts.

“Last year tri-state area fans showed enormous interest in the Woodward Stakes and Jockey Club Gold Cup, and we are excited to offer even more top notch events live on MSG Plus,” said Lydia Murphy-Stephans, executive vice president of programming and production, MSG Media. “This new collection of exciting races for the summer enhances our premier lineup of horse racing programming, and reinforces our commitment to offer area fans a variety of first-rate sporting events.”

“We’re thrilled to build on our strong relationship with MSG, and offer horse racing fans and sports fans exposure to New York racing at its absolute best,” said Hal Handel, executive vice president and chief operating officer, NYRA. “We are especially appreciative of MSG’s eagerness to showcase NYRA’s flagship venue, Saratoga Race Course, one of the truly unique venues in American sports.”

MSG Plus will bring viewers live action from the Wood Memorial on Saturday, April 4, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., covering all of the action from the horses being saddled up to the winner’s circle celebrations. The Wood Memorial is the last major New York prep race for the Kentucky Derby, and throughout its history has been a significant springboard to success at Churchill Downs. Beginning with Triple Crown winner Gallant Fox in 1930, 11 Wood Memorial winners have gone on to win the Kentucky Derby including Triple Crown winners Count Fleet (1943), Assault (1946) and Seattle Slew (1977). Three of the past nine Derby winners have used the Wood as their final tune-up for the Run for the Roses, most recently New York's own Funny Cide who ran a game second in the 2003 Wood.

On five significant Saturdays this summer, MSG Plus will showcase the glamour, grandeur and high-caliber action live from historic Saratoga Race Course. From America's oldest thoroughbred track, the Saratoga racing season features the very best of the thoroughbred sport, especially on Saturdays. MSG Plus' “Saturdays at Saratoga” broadcasts will provide live coverage of eight championship caliber stakes, including the Jim Dandy, Whitney Handicap, Alabama and Woodward, races won by the likes of War Admiral, Kelso, Dr. Fager, Easy Goer and 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year, Curlin. Below is the schedule for “Saturdays at Saratoga” live on MSG Plus:

Date Time Race
August 1 5 – 6pm $500,000 Diana (Grade I) and $500,000 Jim Dandy (Grade II)
August 8 5 – 6pm $750,000 Whitney (Grade I) and $300,000 Test (Grade I)
August 15 5 – 6pm $500,000 Sword Dancer (Grade I) and TBA
August 22 5 – 6pm $600,000 Alabama Stakes (Grade I) and supporting stake
September 5 5 – 6pm $500,000 Woodward Stakes (Grade I) and $300,000 Forego (Grade I)

MSG Plus’ live coverage of the Wood Memorial and “Saturdays at Saratoga” adds to the growing slate of horse racing programming on the network. In addition to televising live racing action, MSG Plus currently telecasts “Belmont Park/Aqueduct/Saratoga in 30,” a daily half-hour race-replay show, and “Thoroughbred Weekly,” a weekly half-hour show including timely features and races of the week.

MSG Plus and NYRA will co-produce the Wood Memorial and “Saturdays at Saratoga.”

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