MASN, the local leader in live sports entertainment, will return the ever-popular Saturdays at Saratoga live thoroughbred racing program beginning on Saturday, July 31st, and continuing on consecutive Saturdays through early September. The one-hour, live shows will include 10 championship-caliber stakes races including the Travers, Jim Dandy, Whitney, Betfair TVG Alabama and Woodward.
Each program will be televised live from historic Saratoga Race Course, named by Sports Illustrated as one of the world's greatest sporting venues. Jason Blewitt, Eric Donovan and Andy Serling will provide expert commentary for each of the telecasts.
On Saturday, July 31st, the program kicks off with the Diana and the Jim Dandy live at 5 p.m. on MASN. Forever Together won the Diana back-to-back in 2008 and 2009. Held annually since 1964, the Jim Dandy is the major trial for the $1 Million Travers, the signature race on August 28.
Saturdays at Saratoga culminates with the prestigious Woodward race on September 4th. Last year, Rachel Alexandra made history as the first filly to win the Woodward facing older males.
MASN's Saturdays at Saratoga Schedule:
July 31 $500,000 Diana (G1) and $500,000 Jim Dandy (G2)
August 7 $750,000 Whitney (G1) and $250,000 Test (G1)
August 14 $500,000 Sword Dancer (G1)
August 21 $500,000 Betfair TVG Alabama (G1)
August 28 $1 Million Travers (G1) and $250,000 King's Bishop (G1)
September 4 $750,000 Woodward (G1) and $250,000 Forego (G1)
This is MASN's second year televising Saturdays at Saratoga in partnership with The New York Racing Association, NYRA. MASN strives to provide the highest caliber national and local thoroughbred racing to viewers throughout Maryland, Virginia, Washington D.C., and parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, West Virginia and North Carolina.
"We are looking forward to another great summer of racing and we are pleased to partner with MASN and vastly expand the audience for 'Saturdays at Saratoga,'" said Hal Handel, NYRA vice president and COO. "Saratoga Race Course hosts the best thoroughbred racing in the country and we're delighted that viewers throughout the mid-Atlantic will be able to watch the action on some of our biggest days."
MASN carries a variety of additional racing programming including "Thoroughbred Week," a regular recap of racing insights and highlights, as well as "Against the Odds," a weekly preview of the country's top stakes races produced by HRTV, and "Inside Information" an in-depth look at the personalities in thoroughbred racing, also produced by HRTV. The network has also televised Trackside Live, a weekly tour of the best racetracks in the country.
"MASN has earned widespread praise from viewers for its genuine commitment to promoting and televising the very best of the thoroughbred sport in and around the mid-Atlantic region," said MASN spokesman Todd Webster. "Saturdays at Saratoga brings the magic of that prestigious series and the charm of Saratoga Springs to seven million homes each week during the late summer."
Previous high-stakes winners in the Saratoga series include War Admiral, Kelso, Dr. Fager, Easy Goer, 2007 and 2008 Horse of the Year Curlin, and 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra.
Founded in 1955, and franchised to run thoroughbred racing at New York's three major tracks through 2033, NYRA boasts a lineage that actually stretches back almost 150 years. NYRA tracks are the cornerstone of the state's thoroughbred business which contributes more than $2 billion annually to New York State's urban, suburban and rural economy. In 2009, more than 1.6 million people attended the live races at NYRA tracks. Factoring nationwide off-track wagering, the average daily betting handle on NYRA races alone totals more than $9.3 million every race day. Follow NYRA on Twitter, @nyranews.
MASN is the television home of the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals. The network carries over 600 live sporting events every year including more than 275 NCAA Division I football, basketball, and lacrosse games. MASN is currently carried on 25 cable and satellite providers throughout a seven-state region. Follow MASN on Twitter, @masnsports.