Time to Get Tivo? Horse Racing Telecasts Overlap on Saturday

Can she do it? Standardbred Pampered Princess, shown with caretaker Adam Hanley, is the lone filly in the 10-horse field of the $1.7 Million Hambletonian on Saturday. She won her qualifying heat last week. Mark Hall photo, courtesy of HRC Communications.

Months go by without any horse racing televised on non-subscription stations, and this weekend we will have a battle for viewers between top Thoroughbred and harness races. Sadly, the competition will probably hurt both events and reflect badly on TV viewership of horse races.

On ESPN, we will have a marathon broadcast from 3-6 pm (Eastern) with the Darley Test Stakes from Saratoga and the West Virginia Derby from Mountaineer Park.

What we won’t have (unless things change) is the $1 Million Haskell from Monmouth Park in New Jersey, where Preakness winner Curlin will run against Hard Spun, Any Given Saturday and several other survivors of the 2007 Triple Crown.

The Haskell is especially interesting this year because it will give these horses a race over the track that will host the Breeders Cup races in October.

Over on NBC Sports, beginning at 3:30 Eastern, harness fans can watch the $1.7 Million Hambletonian from The Meadowlands in New Jersey. The qualifiers are complete, and heat winner Pampered Princess will try to pull off a Rags to Riches act by beating the colts.

The Princess gets my vote.

Or, if you have the latest tech, you can watch both.




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