The New York Racing Association (NYRA) announced Friday that America’s Day at the Races will broadcast its final edition of 2020 with coverage and analysis of Saturday’s Grade 1, $250,000 dollar Cigar Mile at Aqueduct Racetrack.
Presented by America’s Best Racing and Claiborne Farms, America’s Day at the Races will air Saturday from 1-4:30 p.m. on MSG+ and 3:30-4:30 p.m. on FS2.
The Cigar Mile is slated as the finale of Saturday’s card of 10 races with an approximate post time of 4:15 p.m.
Expanded coverage of America’s Day at the Races and Saratoga Live, both of which are produced by NYRA, provided nearly 800 hours of live racing broadcast on FOX Sports in 2020, more than double the 385 hours that aired in 2019.
“Despite the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, we regularly presented our viewers with the best racing and analysis in the country,” said Eric Donovan, Director of Broadcast Operations for NYRA.
“Our sincere thanks go to our viewers, sponsors, the NYRA TV production team, talent, and racing stakeholders for their extraordinary dedication, and to FOX Sports and MSG for their continued partnership and commitment to airing more thoroughbred racing than ever before.”
Due to covid-19 live racing was suspended in New York on March 19th. Racing resumed at Belmont Park on June 3rd with Opening Day of the spring/summer meet generating all-sources handle of $10,972,254 dollars, breaking the previous Opening Day record of $10.7 million set in 2010 – while marking the welcome return of professional sports in New York.
During a racing season conducted without spectators, fans turned to Saratoga Live, NYRA‘s highly-acclaimed and Award-Winning television program, in greater numbers than ever before. Average viewership of Saratoga Live on FS1 totaled approximately 120,000, while just under 1.3 million viewers watched the Travers Stakes on FOX.
Overall time spent viewing Saratoga Live increased by 300 percent, with more than 210 hours of live programming broadcast on FOX Sports throughout the meet.
Strong viewership continued through the 27-day Belmont Park fall meet and was instrumental in helping to generate a 33.6-percent increase in average daily handle from last year.
At all of the NYRA facilities the racing was conducted without spectators and with only a limited number of essential personnel, horsemen and owners on-site due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 2020 fall meet at Aqueduct Racetrack continues through Sunday, December 6th. The 56-day winter meet kicks off on Thursday, December 10th and will continue through Sunday, March 21th.