Saratoga Race Course will figure prominently in NBC’s horse racing coverage leading to the Breeders’ Cup this summer.
The NBC Sports Group announced its “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win and You’re In” Monday. It will consist of 11 telecasts on NBC and NBCSN and feature 18 races. The horses that win the races automatically qualify for the Breeders’ Cup World Championships at Santa Anita Park Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.
The three races from Saratoga that will be a part of this series are the Whitney Handicap on Aug. 2, the Ballerina Stakes on Aug. 23 and the Forego Stakes on Aug. 30. The first two races will be on NBC, while the Forego will be on NBCSN.
The Whitney will be part of the classic division. The Ballerina is part of the fillies and mares sprint division. The Forego will decide an entrant for the sprint division.
Coverage of the challenge series starts June 7 at 2:30 p.m. with the Metropolitan Handicap on NBC and the Ogden Phipps on NBCSN.
“We are excited to present the new series of Breeders’ Cup Challenge telecasts, which will help to build interest as we move from the Triple Crown races through the summer and on to the eagerly anticipated Breeders’ Cup World Championships in the fall,” NBC and NBCSN president of programming Jon Miller said.
The three Saratoga races are also part of NBC Sports Group’s “Summer at Saratoga” series. The other races on that program are the Test Stakes Aug. 2, the Travers Stakes Aug. 23 and the Woodward Stakes Aug. 30.
Those three races are not a part of the Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series.
“’Summer at Saratoga’ is an integral part of our horse racing coverage and continues to showcase some the summer’s finest thoroughbred racing from a spectacular venue,” Miller said. “Our entire team looks forward to making multiple trips to the track this summer.”