12/31/2015 1:09PM

MSG Networks to show racing from Belmont, Saratoga


The New York Racing Association will broadcast live racing from Belmont Park and Saratoga on a daily basis on the Madison Square Garden Networks in 2016.

Under a multiyear agreement announced Thursday in a joint press release, MSG Plus will air two hours (4-6 p.m. Eastern) of racing from Belmont Park and 2 1/2 hours (4-6:30 p.m.) from Saratoga from May 18 through Oct. 2. The only days when NYRA’s races will not air on MSG Plus is when there is a national television commitment such as Belmont Stakes Day.

These broadcasts replace the 30-minute daily recap show that ended its three-decade run on Thursday.

The new telecasts will concentrate on the late pick four and late stakes races, according to Dan Silver, NYRA’s senior director of TV.

“The purpose will be to bring a level of analysis that isn’t necessarily there in our simulcast show,” Silver said.

Current NYRA television personalities Andy Serling, Jason Blewitt, Richard Migliore, Sean Morris, and Maggie Wolfendale will provide commentary and analysis.

Silver said it is possible that the feed aired on MSG Plus will be shown in-house and at simulcast outlets throughout the country.

Silver said the 4 1/2 months of live programming basically equate to the same amount of programming hours NYRA had with its daily 30-minute recap show, which aired year-round. Silver said NYRA decided to focus on its best meets.

“Based on the resources we have, it wasn’t going to be possible to do two-hour shows the entire year,” Silver said. “Saratoga is one of the marquee race meets in the country, and Belmont spring and Belmont fall are also premium meets.”

There will be three additional broadcasts – a Belmont Stakes preview show in early June, part of the Empire Showcase Day program from Belmont Park on Oct. 22, and the Cigar Mile from Aqueduct on Nov. 26.