Where to Watch/Listen During Stars & Stripes Festival Week
Courtesy of America's Best Racing
The racing calendar has turned to July, and before attention focuses on the premier meets at Saratoga and Del Mar in a couple of weeks, there's a giant racecard set for Saturday with a patriotic theme as Belmont Park concludes its spring meet. The Stars & Stripes Racing Festival on July 6 features five graded stakes worth $3 million, including one "Win and You're In" Challenge Series race that offers an automatic bid to the 36th Breeders’ Cup World Championships, scheduled to be held at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1-2.
Three of the graded stakes on the Stars & Stripes card will anchor a two-hour broadcast by NBC Sports – the $1 million Belmont Derby Invitational Stakes, the $750,000 Belmont Oaks Invitational Stakes, and the $300,000 John A. Nerud Stakes. The John A. Nerud, formerly named the Belmont Sprint Invitational Stakes, is a Challenge Series qualifier for the Twinspires Breeders' Cup Sprint. The broadcast will air on NBC from 4-6 p.m. Eastern as part of NBC Sports’ "Win and You're In" schedule.
NBC’s broadcast team from Belmont Park will include analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey along with reporters Donna Barton Brothers and Britney Eurton.
Belmont Park also features a stakes race on Thursday, July 4, Independence Day, and two more on Friday, July 5, leading up to Saturday's extravaganza. Nearly all of Belmont’s races during this three-day span aside from those in Saturday’s 4-6 p.m. bloc will be broadcast live as part of NYRA’s “America’s Day At the Races” package. The broadcast airs on several outlets, and nationally on FS2 (see schedule below).
“America's Day at the Races” is presented by America's Best Racing, Runhappy and Claiborne Farm, and produced by NYRA Television. Its broadcast team includes host Greg Wolf, handicapper and racing analyst Andy Serling, paddock analyst Maggie Wolfendale, Hall of Fame rider and analyst Gary Stevens, trainer Tom Amoss, handicapper Jonathan Kinchen, former jockey and analyst Richard Migliore, and handicapper and former Major League Baseball all-star Paul LoDuca. Larry Collmus, NYRA announcer and voice of the Triple Crown, provides live race calls.
In addition to the broadcasts on NBC Sports and FS2, all Belmont Park races will air on TVG as part of their coast-to-coast comprehensive racing coverage.
A highlight of the week’s radio coverage is “The Winner’s Circle” podcast presented The Stronach Group. The upcoming podcast airs July 6 at 10 a.m. Eastern on SB Nation Radio (subscribe and access past episodes via Apple Podcasts here) and is hosted by Bram Weinstein, with racing analysis from retired Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens. This Saturday’s show recaps an eventful first half of Thoroughbred racing in 2019 and features interviews with the following guests: Mark Casse, Victor Espinoza and CBS Sports' Sean McManus. We’ll also hear shorter excerpts from Tyler Gaffalione, Mike Smith and NBC Sports' Eddie Olczyk.
Here’s a guide to television and radio horse racing coverage during Stars & Stripes week:
For more coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series, head over to americasbestracing.net
- July 16, 2019
The $1 million, Grade 1 TVG.com Haskell Invitational Stakes on Saturday, July 20 at Monmouth Park could take on special significance.
- July 16, 2019
This year’s Haskell Invitational is shaping up to be a thriller: Maximum Security (who was famously DQ’d from winning this year’s Kentucky Derby) will likely face Preakness Stakes runner-up Everfast, King for a Day (who recently beat Maximum Security in the Pegasus Stakes), Affirmed Stakes winner Mucho Gusto, and others. The Haskell going to be a nail-biter from start to finish.
- July 16, 2019
The Haskell will be crucial in determining the leaders in the 3-year-old division going forward and is also a Challenge Series “Win and You’re In” Presented by America's Best Racing qualifying race for the Nov. 2 Breeders’ Cup Classic, offering a fees-paid automatic berth to the winner.