Horse racing will have a presence on Fox Sports’ new television network, with major stakes races broadcast starting in 2014.
A multiyear agreement between Fox Sports and The Jockey Club announced Thursday calls for up to 10 telecasts a year on Fox Sports 1, with each show including two top stakes races featuring the leading horses in North America. The network launches Aug. 17.
The series will begin Feb. 9 with the Donn Handicap and Gulfstream Park Turf Handicap — both Grade 1 races — airing from Gulfstream Park in Florida.
The complete schedule of races will be released later.
The deal includes international and Spanish-language rights, including the ability to air races on Fox Deportes, its Spanish-languauge sports network.
Horse racing’s Triple Crown series consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness and Belmont, and the Breeders’ Cup air on NBC. That network also broadcasts ”Summer at Saratoga,” seven weekends of live racing from the historic track in upstate New York.
Jockey Club chairman Ogden Mills Phipps said increasing the national TV presence of horse racing is a key to retaining fans. He added that is happy to see horse racing alongside Major League Baseball, college basketball, college football, NASCAR and UFC events on the new sports network.