PHILADELPHIA, PA – August 13, 2013 – Comcast SportsNet, Parx Racing®, and the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association announced today that Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia will broadcast live coverage of Pennsylvania Derby Day on Saturday, September 21, 2013. The pinnacle of the Parx racing schedule, this Super Saturday of racing will feature the $1 million Pennsylvania Derby (Grade 2) for three-year olds, the $1 Million Cotillion Stakes (Grade 1) for three-year-old fillies, and the $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes (Grade 3) for three-year olds. “Last year’s races produced an electrifying stretch duel between the top two fillies in the country in the Cotillion, a rematch of the Travers dead-heat winners in the PA Derby, and eventual Breeders Cup Sprint winner and Eclipse Award Sprint Champion, Trinniberg, competing in the Gallant Bob,” said Sal Sinatra, Director of Racing at Parx. “We’re thrilled to see what excitement happens this year at Parx Racing.”
“The Cotillion and Pennsylvania Derby are two of the premiere events in Pennsylvania horse racing,” said Sal DeBunda, President of the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horseman’s Association, which represents owners and trainers who race at the track. “Marquee events like this enable us to showcase some of the nation’s top talent in horseracing while building a stronger base of fans locally. This is a great day for Pennsylvania racing.”
Live coverage from Parx Racing® will begin at 4:30 p.m. Underscoring the national importance of these races just six weeks before the Breeders Cup, the broadcast will be hosted by some of the sport’s top horse racing announcers. Laffit Pincay III – a racing reporter for NBC Sports and one of the lead hosts for the Triple Crown broadcast, will serve as the lead announcer for the broadcast. Pincay is also the son of Hall of Fame jockey Laffit Pincay, Jr. Joining him will be Mike Battaglia, a veteran of the NBC broadcast team who has covered numerous Triple Crown and Breeders Cup events as an analyst and reporter. Maggie Wolfendale, a member of the New York Racing Association Inc. broadcast team will join Battaglia in providing live coverage from the paddock and Winner’s Circle.
Eclipse Award winning writer Dick Jerardi of the Philadelphia Daily News will join Pincay in the broadcast booth as the color analyst. Rounding out the broadcast team is NBC10 meteorologist Sheena Parveen, who will serve as a feature reporter for the Derby. The broadcast will re-air on The Comcast Network at 10 p.m. Saturday evening.
The Pennsylvania Derby is a race for 3-year-olds at a distance of 1 1/8 miles (nine furlongs) and serves as a prep race for horses that may compete in the Breeders' Cup World Championships. The first Pennsylvania Derby was held in 1979 and it achieved graded status in 1981. The race was elevated to Grade II in 2004 and began offering a purse of $1 million in 2007. Following the Pennsylvania Derby’s move from Labor Day to late September in 2010, the race has grown in popularity and has attracted a stronger field of 3-year olds.
The Cotillion Stakes is a race for 3-year-old fillies at a distance of 1 1/16 miles (8.5 furlongs). This race serves as a prep race for horses that may compete in the Breeders' Cup Ladies' Classic. The Cotillion, formerly known as the F. Eugene Dixon, Jr. Cotillion Handicap, was inaugurated in 1969 at Liberty Bell Park in Northeast Philadelphia before moving to what is now Parx Racetrack. Over the years, this race has produced five Eclipse Award winners and is the first in Pennsylvania to have Grade 1 status.
The Gallant Bob Stakes was initiated in 1979 to honor local horse racing legend Gallant Bob, the first Keystone based horse to earn an Eclipse Award, which he did in 1975 as Sprinter of the Year. Today, the $300,000 Gallant Bob Stakes is the track’s top sprint race for three year-olds. As evidence of the growing stature of the 4 furlong race, it was awarded graded status in December 2012. This past year, the Gallant Bob saw Grade 1 winning sprinters Trinniberg and Currency Swap come in to compete. Following his appearance in the Gallant Bob, Trinniberg went out to Santa Anita and won the G1 Breeders Cup Sprint.
About PARX Parx Casino®, largest and most impressive gaming complex in Pennsylvania, and Parx Racing®, legendary thoroughbred racetrack, are owned and operated by Greenwood Gaming and Entertainment, Inc. Conveniently located 20 minutes north of center city Philadelphia, I-95 exit 37 or PA Turnpike exit 351(westbound), exit 352 (eastbound) onto Street Road in Bensalem, Parx features 164,000 square feet of gaming; 3,350 slot machines; 110 live table games; 60 poker tables; live racing & simulcast action; Parx Grill, an upscale signature steakhouse; Foodies food court; Chickie’s & Pete’s; Earl of Sandwich®; SangKee Noodle Bar; 360 bar and nightclub; Jax sports bar; Finish Line bar and complimentary parking for over 5,000 cars. For more information on Parx visit www.parxcasino.com and www.parxracing.com.
About the Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen Association The Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen Association (PTHA) is a statewide organization representing owners and trainers at Parx Racetrack and Casino Racetrack in Bensalem, Pa. The PTHA works hard to protect and provide for the horsemen through the guarantee of live racing, increased purses, and health care for its families. Through the efforts of the PTHA and the track management, thoroughbred racing in the state of Pennsylvania has undergone many positive changes and Parx has been recognized throughout the industry as the starting point for stricter medication rules and for its model retirement program for Thoroughbred horses.
About Comcast SportsNet: Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, part of the NBC Sports Group, is the leading regional sports network reaching more than three million homes in and around Philadelphia, Southern New Jersey and Delaware. Together with The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia provides local sports fans with the most sports coverage including more than 550 live game broadcasts of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers, MLB’s Philadelphia Phillies, MLS’s Philadelphia Union, plus NCAA coverage, as well as Emmy Award-winning sports news and analysis. Visit CSNPhilly.com for more information.
NBC Sports Regional Networks, part of the NBC Sports Group, consist of 13 regional networks that deliver more than 2,400 live sporting events annually, along with breaking news, comprehensive analysis, digital content and original programming, to more than 50 million homes. The NBC Sports Regional Networks are: Comcast SportsNet Bay Area, Comcast SportsNet California, Comcast SportsNet Chicago, Comcast SportsNet Houston, Comcast SportsNet Mid-Atlantic, Comcast SportsNet New England, NECN, Comcast SportsNet Northwest, The Comcast Network, Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia, CSS and SNY. For more information, visit www.ComcastSportsNet.com. For more information about NBC Sports Group properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com. Contacts: Pete Peterson, Pennsylvania Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, 215 893-4297; Carrie Nork Minelli, Parx Casino, 215 801-9389; or Maureen Quilter, Comcast SportsNet, 215-952-2238