Congratulations to Coil for winning the Haskell Invitational , which aired on ABC.
Saratoga Saturdays and the Hambletonian
Make a date to hide out from the heat and catch some fine racing in the US Northeast on network and cable TV this summer.
Summer in Saratoga
Racing in Saratoga begins in late July and runs through Labor Day weekend. NBC Sports plans live coverage for each late Saturday afternoon – and one Sunday – during the season.
The above photo taken by cell phone camera of the screen, shows dates, stakes races covered and where they’ll be aired. If you can’t read the photo, here’s the info:
All broadcast start times will be 5 pm EDT. Checking your local listings, too, is always a good idea. All except for the Alabama and the Travers, all these Saratoga races will be aired on the cable TV channel Versus:
- 7/23 – The Diana Stakes and the Jim Dandy – Versus
- 8/6 – The Whitney Handicap and the Test – Versus
- 8/7 – The Vanderbilt Stakes – NBC
- 8/13 – The Sword Dancer Invitational – Versus
- 8/20 – The Alabama Stakes (for 3-year-old fillies) – NBC
- 8/27 – The Travers Stakes (for 3-year-old colts) and the King’s Bishop Stakes – NBC
- 9/3 – The Woodward and the Forego – Versus
I see that the broadcast network NBC took the two major races for 3-year-olds, The Alabama (for fillies) and the Travers (for colts). The Travers is known as the “mid-summer Derby.” I’m guessing that makes the Alabama the mid-summer counterpart to the Kentucky Oaks and the Black-Eyed Susan.
On Saratoga’s opening weekend under a 93-degree-F sunny day, It’s Tricky won the Coaching Club American Oaks and is expected, as of this writing, to run in the Alabama later in August.
However, Uncle Mo who smoked his peers in the 2010 Breeders Cup Juvenile but had to stay out of the Kentucky Derby due to illness won’t be starting in the Travers but will be racing on Travers Day in the King’s Bishop.
(Dear NBC Sports who we thank for bringing us horses on TV when other networks abandoned us for team sports – Please let us see Uncle Mo run as part of the Travers programming. You’ll be glad you did because Uncle Mo is a star who’ll draw an audience. Thank you. Your friends at The Horsey Set Net) (Update: YES! We’ll see The King’s Bishop.)
Anyway, NBC will run its coverage of the 2011 Hambletonian, an American classic for trotters going off with a $1.5 million purse, on Saturday, Aug. 6, at 3 pm EDT.
My Spideysense tells me I’m going to do a little pre-race cramming to get my knowledge up to Hambo-speed.
Big Day – August 6
Most people get all excited over Travers Day, and I do. Except we’ll have one day this summer with two different kinds of racing.
Anyway, let’s take a look at the Big Picture for horse TV on August 6.
We’ll have coverage for BOTH the Hambletonian from the Meadowlands in New Jersey and The Whitney Stakes from Saratoga. So, the Hambletonian coverage starts at 3 and then Saratoga coverage at 5, all times EDT.
The next day, Sunday 8/7, will have the running of The Vanderbilt Stakes at 5 pm. Big weekend for race fans.
So, pencil in the dates or set your Outlook Calendar to set your VDR or your VHS. We’re gonna see some fine horse racing.