Where to Watch/Listen: Horse Racing Coverage for May 15-17

Events / Travel
Racing at historic Churchill Downs begins on May 16. (Eclipse Sportswire)

The horse racing world like all other areas of society continues to make changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health crisis. Racetracks across America have either postponed live racing or prohibited anyone other than essential employees from entering. Charities are ramping up services to help track workers during these hard times, including the Race Track Chaplaincy, New York Division, while many other organizations including the Jockey Club Safety Net Foundation are redirecting resources to support medical efforts to combat the spread of the virus and support backstretch workers. (All proceeds from the Old Smoke T-shirt on sale below will go to the TJC Safety Net Foundation.)

Many racetracks have cancelled or postponed their meets this spring, but racing continues at a few tracks across the country that have instituted strict safety screening protocols for essential employees who are already on the grounds to provide daily care for horses.

Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs continue their meets over the May 15-17 weekend, and those top-tier tracks are joined by historic Churchill Downs, which kicks off its spring meet on May 16. Churchill Downs opens its traditional meet three weeks late due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with safety protocols implemented similar to other tracks currently operating that prohibit spectators and all non-essential personnel from the facility.

Churchill Downs' opening weekend will be featured on the Fox Sports show “America’s Day at the Races,” which resumes its weekend schedule on Saturday, May 16. “America’s Day at the Races” is produced by NYRA and presented by Runhappy, Claiborne Farm and America's Best Racing. Hosted by Greg Wolf and Laffit Pincay III, the upcoming weekend's broadcast team includes Gary Stevens, Michelle Yu, Tom Amoss and Jonathon Kinchen

Air times for "America's Day at the Races" are as follows: On Saturday, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET on FS2, from 2:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on FS1, and from 6 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET on FS2; and on Sunday, from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. ET on FS2, and from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on FS1. The show will also air on regional Fox outlets Prime Ticket and Fox Sports San Diego – check NYRA’s website for those dates and times.

On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, NBCSN continues its simulcast of TVG's “Trackside Live," which shows live racing from Gulfstream Park, Tampa Bay Downs, Churchill Downs (starting Saturday), and other tracks. "Trackside Live" will air from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN on Friday and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday. The show will also air on its home network, and TVG will show live racing from racetracks around the country as per usual (including Charles Town and Golden Gate Fields, both of which start racing on May 14) starting earlier each day as part of its comprehensive package.  

While the Preakness Stakes, originally scheduled to be held Saturday, May 16, at Pimlico, has been postponed, the middle leg of the Triple Crown will still be celebrated during an hour-long broadcast on NBC from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET. The show, “The Middle Jewel: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown,” will reflect back on American Pharoah’s dominant win in the 2015 Preakness en route to his sweep of the Triple Crown.

A don’t-miss highlight of this weekend’s radio coverage is “The Winner’s Circle,” America’s Best Racing’s podcast presented by NYRA Bets. The show, hosted by Bram Weinstein and featuring analysis from Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, airs at 10 a.m. ET on Saturdays through Nov. 7 on SB Nation RadioSubscribe to "The Winner's Circle" on Apple Podcasts to listen to archived episodes.

This Saturday, Joe Kristufek previews the Churchill Downs meet, Gary Stevens offers opinions on the Triple Crown, and Minty Bets of Yahoo Sportsbook talks sports betting.

Here’s a rundown of television and radio coverage for the upcoming weekend.

TV Schedule

Date

Program

Time

Network

May 15

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 15

TVG's "Trackside Live," featuring live coverage of horse racing 

4 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

May 16

"America's Day at the Races," featuring live coverage of horse racing from Churchill Downs and other tracks

1-2:30 p.m. on FS2; 2:30-6 p.m. on FS1; 6-6:30 p.m. on FS2

FS1 and FS2

May 16

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 16

 “The Middle Jewel: American Pharoah’s Run to the Triple Crown”

5 p.m.-6 p.m.

NBC

May 16

TVG's "Trackside Live," featuring live coverage of horse racing 

6 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

May 17

"America's Day at the Races," featuring live coverage of horse racing from Churchill Downs and other tracks

1-2 p.m on FS2; 2-6 p.m. on FS1

FS1 and FS2

May 17

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 17

TVG's "Trackside Live," featuring live coverage of horse racing

6 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

Note: All times listed are Eastern

Radio Schedule

Date Program Time Network
May 15 At The Races with Steve Byk: Weekend Preview with Daily Racing Form correspondents, Brisnet's Ed DeRosa, and other guests 9 a.m. Thoroughbred Radio Network
May 15 Red Brand Radio 3 p.m. HRRN
May 15 Weekend Stakes Preview Presented by NYRA Bets 6 p.m. HRRN
May 16 Equine Forum Show 8 a.m. HRRN
May 16 Off to the Races on The Racing Biz Radio Network 10 a.m. ESPN 950 AM
May 16 "The Winner's Circle" presented by NYRA Bets, with host Bram Weinstein and featured guests Joe Kristufek, Gary Stevens and Minty Bets 10 a.m. SB Nation Radio

Note: All times listed are Eastern

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