via press release:
NEW YORK and SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – September 21, 2011 – Due to the success of the inaugural series, the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) and the NBC Sports Group have announced a two-year extension for Summer at Saratoga, which will bring live national coverage of the Saratoga Race Course meet through 2013.
This year’s NBC Sports Group coverage of the Saratoga meet marked the most extensive live national broadcast presence ever of racing from the prestigious track, including three hour-long shows on NBC and five on VERSUS, spanning seven weekends in total. VERSUS will be re-named the NBC Sports Network on Jan. 2, 2012.
“The NBC Sports Group’s landmark coverage of this summer’s Saratoga meet was phenomenal,” said NYRA President and CEO Charles Hayward. “NBC and VERSUS took everything that is special about Saratoga, from the incredible racing to the unparalleled fan experience to the storied history and beauty of the track and the town, and conveyed those elements to viewers across the country. We are very excited to extend this partnership for at least two more years and are already looking forward to the 2012 meet.”
“We are excited to extend our partnership with Charles Hayward and NYRA, one of our valued Triple Crown partners, to present Summer at Saratoga for two more years,” said Jon Miller, President of Programming, NBC Sports and VERSUS. “Saratoga is one of the iconic venues in American sports, and we couldn’t be happier with the multi-platform success we shared in the first year of this partnership.”
Highlights of this summer’s NBC and VERSUS coverage included Stay Thirsty surging to the top of the 3-year-old division with victories in the Jim Dandy and Travers; Tizway making his Horse of the Year case with an emphatic Whitney triumph; and Havre de Grace becoming only the second filly in history to win the Woodward.
The tentative schedule for the NBC Sports Group’s live coverage of Summer at Saratoga for 2012 is as follows:
- Saturday, August 11 – 6-7 p.m. ET - NBC Sports Network
- Sunday, August 12 – 4-6 p.m. ET - NBC Sports Network
- Saturday, August 18 – 5-6 p.m. ET - NBC Sports Network
- Saturday, August 25 – 4-6 p.m. ET - NBC
- Saturday, September 1 – 5-6 p.m. ET - NBC
Saratoga Race Course was named one of the world’s top 10 venues of the 20th century by Sports Illustrated. From late July through Labor Day, many of the sport’s top owners, trainers, jockeys, and horses gather in Saratoga Springs for the premier thoroughbred racing meet in the country. First held in 1863, the Saratoga meet regularly draws more than 20,000 passionate racing fans to the track on a daily basis.
NBC SPORTS AND HORSE RACING: The NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to Horse Racing’s Triple Crown. This year marked the first time that all three races were broadcast on one network since NBC last aired the Triple Crown in 2005. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001.
In addition to the Summer at Saratoga series, the NBC Sports Group recently announced an agreement to showcase Autumn at Keeneland this October.
NYRA: 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 2010, more than 1.6 million people attended the live races at NYRA tracks. Factoring in nationwide off-track wagering, the average daily betting handle on NYRA races totals more than $8.7 million. NYRA has a vast network of websites, including www.nyra.com, www.belmontstakes.com, and www.nyragroupsales.com. You can also follow NYRA on social media platforms Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube.