Where to Watch/Listen: Horse Racing Coverage for Memorial Day Weekend 2020

Events / Travel
Turf racing at Santa Anita Park. (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.)

After several weeks where racing was relegated to only a handful of tracks, several prominent venues started their meets last week, including Churchill Downs and Santa Anita Park. All racetracks currently operating are doing so without spectators, and have instituted strict safety screening protocols for essential employees who are already on the grounds to provide daily care for horses.

The upcoming racing calendar is highlighted by the Matt Winn Stakes at Churchill on May 23, which has been added as a Road to the Kentucky Derby qualifying race, and the Shoemaker Mile Stakes on Monday, Memorial Day, at Santa Anita Park. The Shoemaker Mile kicks off the 2020 Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series in the U.S. and Canada, and the race winner receives an automatic berth to the TVG Breeders’ Cup Mile scheduled to be held on Nov. 7 at Keeneland.

Comprehensive Churchill Downs coverage will continue to be featured on the Fox Sports show “America’s Day at the Races.” Produced by NYRA and presented by Runhappy, Claiborne Farm and America's Best Racing, the show is hosted by Greg Wolf and Laffit Pincay III, and the upcoming weekend's broadcast team includes Gary Stevens, Michelle Yu, Andy Serling, and Jonathon Kinchen

Air times for "America's Day at the Races" are as follows: Thursday, May 21 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on FS2; Friday, May 22 from 12:30 to 2:20 p.m. and from 4:30 to 6 p.m. ET on FS2; Saturday, May 23 from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. ET on FS2 and from 2:30 to 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1; Sunday, May 24 from 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET on FS2 and from 3:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on FS1; and Monday, May 25 from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET on FS2. 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, Sunday, and Monday, NBCSN continues its simulcast of TVG's “Trackside Live," which shows live racing from various tracks. "Trackside Live" will air from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN Friday, and from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. ET on Saturday and Sunday, and from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday. Monday's Memorial Day show will feature the Shoemaker Mile at Santa Anita.

"Trackside Live" will also air on its home network, and TVG will show live racing from racetracks around the country as per usual starting earlier each day as part of its package. 

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.

The guests for Saturday, May 23 are Sports Illustrated writer Pat Forde and Nate Newby, senior vice president at Santa Anita Park.

America’s Best Racing also continues its weekly "Thursday Night Live" show on its Facebook Live and YouTube channels. This week’s show on May 21 focuses on attracting young people to horse racing and features guests Madison Scott and Annise Montplaisir from Amplify Horse Racing. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET.

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

TV/Livestream Schedule

Date

Program

Time

Network

May 21

"America's Day at the Races"

1-6 p.m.

FS2

May 21

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 21

"Thursday Night Live" featuring guests from Amplify Horse Racing

7:30 p.m.

Facebook Live and YouTube

May 22

"America's Day at the Races"

12:30-2:20 p.m. and 4:30-6 p.m.

FS2

May 22

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 22

TVG's "Trackside Live" 

4 p.m.-7 p.m.

NBCSN

May 23

"America's Day at the Races"

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

FS1 and FS2

May 23

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 23

TVG's "Trackside Live" 

4 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

May 24

"America's Day at the Races"

1-3:30 p.m on FS2; 3:30-6 p.m. on FS1

FS1 and FS2

May 24

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 24

TVG's "Trackside Live"

4 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

May 25

"America's Day at the Races"

1-6 p.m.

FS2

May 25

Live coverage of horse racing

post time varies

TVG

May 25

TVG's "Trackside Live"

6 p.m.-8 p.m.

NBCSN

Note: All times listed are Eastern

Radio Schedule

Date Program Time Network
May 21 At The Races with Steve Byk: Shedrow Confidential with Steve Haskin, Vegas Racebook with Rich Eng, and other guests 9 a.m. Thoroughbred Radio Network
May 21 Red Brand Radio 3 p.m. HRRN
May 21 Trainer Talk Presented by Fasig-Tipton 6 p.m. HRRN
May 22 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 22 Red Brand Radio 3 p.m. HRRN
May 22 Weekend Stakes Preview Presented by NYRA Bets 6 p.m. HRRN
May 23 Equine Forum Show 8 a.m. HRRN
May 23 Off to the Races on The Racing Biz Radio Network 10 a.m. ESPN 950 AM
May 23 "The Winner's Circle" presented by NYRA Bets, with host Bram Weinstein and featured guests Pat Forde and Nate Newby 10 a.m. SB Nation Radio

Note: All times listed are Eastern

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