FRANKLIN, Ky. (Friday, Aug. 24, 2018) — TVG, the popular cable racing network, will be broadcasting onsite for the first time from Kentucky Downs, with Scott Hazelton reporting from America’s most unique race meet on Sept. 6 and 8. The five-date all-grass meet that offers some of the largest purses in the world opens Sept. 1 and also runs Sept. 9 and 13.
Hazelton will conduct pre- and post-race interviews and provide analysis, betting selections, featured wagering plays and segments designed to give viewers the feel and flavor of Kentucky Downs, which has been the top-ranked track the past three years by the Horseplayers Association of North America.
“Given that I’ve never been there, I hope to give the perspective of somebody who has never had the chance to go,” said Hazelton, who will be working with cameraman Miles Feld. “We see the simulcast feed; I don’t think it gives it the full perspective. I’m going to try to go around to as many places as I possibly can. We talked about walking the turf course and video-taping it, so people can see it — then speeding up the video and stuff like that. We have so much flexibility with the setup we come in with that we can broadcast from anywhere. So I can go up by the gate, go wherever we want to and can.”
Kentucky Downs analyst Caton Bredar, a regular TVG contributor, will join Hazelton in offering analysis and will provide TVG with reports and selections the other days of the meet.
Hazelton is the son of trainer Richard Hazelton, who before he became a Chicago racing icon was the kingpin of Arizona tracks during a career spanning more than 50 years and 4,745 victories. Scott Hazelton spent summers working in the Arlington Park racing office while in college, graduating from Arizona State University with a degree in broadcasting in 2004. He promptly went to work for the Horse Racing Television (HRTV) cable network, which was acquired by TVG in 2015 and rebranded as TVG2.
Sept. 6 is Old Friends Day at Kentucky Downs, headlined by the $250,000 Old Friends Stakes, sponsored by Redbrand. Hall of Fame jockey Mike Smith, rider of Triple Crown winner Justify, will be on hand signing commemorative Coady Photography prints of the 2018 Kentucky Derby from 1 to 3 p.m. Central to raise money for the Old Friends equine retirement facility, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund and The Giving Circle, an all-volunteer non-profit organization founded in response to Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that seeks out communities in need to connect them with those with the resources to help.
Sept. 8 features five stakes totaling $2.7 million: four graded stakes, topped by the $750,000 Calumet Farm Kentucky Turf Cup, and the new $500,000 Kentucky Downs Juvenile Turf Sprint for 2-year-olds.
“I’m excited about it,” Hazelton said. “It’s such a unique place, and the racing is fantastic. The amount of top trainers, top horses, top jockeys who go there, it speaks to itself. I can’t wait to see it.”
TVG is the No. 1 horse-betting website and horse-racing television network in America. It is available on select cable companies, Dish channels 398 and 399, DirecTV channel 602 and on TVG.com by opening an account.