CBS Sports Network will present a 90-minute high-definition live broadcast of harness racing's prestigious $1.5 million Hambletonian, $714,050 Hambletonian Oaks and $250,000 Nat Ray on Saturday, Aug. 4 beginning at 3:30 p.m. (EDT).
The award winning team will be lead by executive producer Joel Feld and director Bruce Treut. The coverage of racing’s biggest day will be hosted by Gary Seibel with analyst Dave Brower, horseback reporter Donna Barton-Brothers and Justin Horowitz reporting from the paddock and backstretch.
Gary Seibel is one of harness racing’s most recognized television hosts and has been a respected broadcasters and authority on the sport for more than 20 years.
The 2012 edition of the Hambletonian will mark his 20th consecutive year as either host or co-host of harness racing’s most prestigious event, including a 13-year run on CBS and a 5-year stint with NBC.
For more than a decade, he hosted network TV coverage of the Breeders Crown, harness racing’s divisional championship series, and filled a similar role for the American Championship Harness Series back in the late 1990’s. Seibel also has covered racing for ESPN, SportsChannel and Prime Network.
He brought the sport of harness racing into the living rooms of fans across America on a daily basis from 1999 through 2011 as a host and racing analyst for the popular nightly program, “Drive Time,” on TVG, the interactive horse racing network. Seibel served many roles at Pompano Park in Florida, as track announcer for 18 years, publicity director, in-house simulcast TV host, public handicapper and assistant general manager.
Seibel has been honored with harness racing’s Dan Patch media award and the Allen J. Finkelson award, with his body of work in the industry over the years earning him induction into the Communicator’s Corner of the harness racing Hall of Fame in 2011.
Dave Brower has been an avid harness racing fan since age 10 and has worked in just about every aspect of the sport in the 33 years since. A 1991 journalism graduate of St. John's University, Brower has groomed and trained horses, operated the race teletimer, been a public relations intern, morning line oddsmaker and track handicapper for the Meadowlands Racetrack for 16 years from 1996 to 2011.
In the realm of television and radio work in racing, Brower served as a featured host, and co-host of the nightly "Racing from the Meadowlands" television program on SNY, Fox Sports New York, and MSG Networks, including in-house duties of analysis and handicapping. He also provided on-site analysis and interviews during TVG's Drive Time with Gary Seibel on race nights for three years.
He’s joined Dave Johnson and Bill Finley on their eclipse award winning program “Down The Stretch” on Sirius/XM satellite radio. Since leaving the Meadowlands in 2011, he has become a social media consultant. In addition to the above work in the sport of horse racing, Brower also wrote “Harnessing Winners: The Complete Guide to Handicapping Harness Races,” which was published by Daily Racing Form’s press division in 2009.
Having won 1,171 races in her career as a jockey, there may be no one more comfortable on the back of a horse than Donna Barton-Brothers. In 2000, Brothers began working for NBC Sports as their on-track reporter and racing analyst and has been the featured horseback reporter for the NBC coverage of the Hambletonian for the past five years.
Her website, www.donnabrothers.com, features a photo of her riding at driver-trainer Ray Schnittker’s farm, prior to his 2008 Hambletonian winner victory.
Other duties for NBC include many of their thoroughbred horse racing shows, the Triple Crown races and Breeders’ Cup, the Rolex Three Day Event, the World Equestrian Games, the AQHA World Championship Show, and Professional Bull Riding (PBR).
Providing analysis and pre-race insight from the paddock is Justin Horowitz. A “racetracker” since his teenage years. Horowitz attended the prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University and earned a degree in Broadcast Journalism.
While in college, Justin won a national contest to spend the summer as an intern in Los Angeles at TVG, the horse racing television network. He spent plenty of time working alongside fellow Syracuse alum and Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity brother, Gary Seibel.
Horowitz has worked as a sports and news reporter at KAWB-TV in Brainerd, Minnesota and was an award-winning weekend sports anchor at WBNG-TV, the CBS affiliate, in Binghamton, NY. In 2010, Horowitz sought a return to racing and was hired by Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs to manage the tracks’ social media.
He also was given the opportunity to develop harness racing TV, and now shoots, writes, edits and hosts “Inside Harness Racing” airing weekly on Time Warner Cable Sports throughout Upstate New York. For his work on the show, Justin was honored with a Hervey Award honorable mention.
ier this year, Justin was promoted to Regional Racing Marketing Manager at Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs. He continues to produce his popular TV show every week during the racing season and is thrilled to be part of the Hambletonian broadcast on CBS Sports Network.
Feld began his career at ABC Sports in 1978 and produced four Olympics, earned eight Emmy Awards and covered national and international events from “ABC’s Monday Night Football” to the Tour de France. He played a role in the start-up of FOX Sports in 1994.
Most recently, he served as executive vice president of programming and executive producer of NESN, which was the highest-rated regional sports network in the United States from 2004 to 2009. Director Bruce Treut is a veteran in sports TV, with credits at USA Network that included the US and French Open Tennis Championships, as well as NBA, Boxing, and NHL.
In 1989 Treut moved to ABC Sports, and directed Horse Racing, including the 1992 Hambletonian for Wide World of Sports. He’s worked extensively on Track and Field, College Basketball, College Football, Boxing, Tennis, the Australian Open/French Open/Wimbledon tennis events, and Soccer. Treut currently directs the LA Marathon for KTLA and has received 12 Emmy nominations for his work.
Meadowlands announcerwill provide his racing expertise and race call.
The 2012 Hambletonian broadcast is presented by the Hambletonian Society and participating television sponsors include: breeding operations Allerage Farms, Bluestone Farms, Brittany Farms, Fashion Farms, Perretti Farms and Winning Key Farms; New Jersey Tourism Board, Atlantic City Alliance and the U.S. Trotting Association; Standardbred Breeders & Owners of NJ and the Harness Racing Museum and Hall of Fame; and racetracks Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs.
The Hambletonian was broadcast live on CBS from 1993-2006. CBS Sports Network (formerly known as CBS College Sports Network) is the 24-hour sports cable network of CBS Sports and home of Jim Rome’s nightly show “Rome.” The network televises 340 live games and over 2,400 hours of original programming every year in addition to Professional Bull Riding (PBR), live college football, basketball and more from the Mountain West, Conference USA, Atlantic 10, as well as Army, Navy and the Patriot League. CBS Sports Network also delivers exclusive coverage of SEC football, live NCAA® Tournament studio analysis, and is the home of the National Lacrosse League (NLL) and Major League Lacrosse (MLL).
Available in 99 million homes nationally with 45 million subscribers, CBS Sports Network is one of the fastest growing sports stations in the world. The network is available on cable, satellite, and video provider systems including Comcast, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, Dish Network, Cablevision, Verizon FIOS, and more. Check sports tiers, as well as the digital basic package.
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by Moira FANNING