Columbus, OH – Regis Philbin, co-host of the sports talk show “Crowd Goes Wild” on Fox Sports 1, showed up for work Monday (Aug. 19) with no idea that he would be given a present to celebrate his 81st birthday.
Fotowon Photo Regis The Horse (@RegisTheHorse on Twitter) broke his maiden in 1:56.4 at Harrington while his namesake, TV star Regis Philbin, watched live from the set of his new show, "Crowd Goes Wild," on Fox Sports 1.
What do get for the man who has everything? How about a 2-year-old pacing colt?
Named Regis The Horse, the colt broke his maiden in 1:56.4 at Harrington Raceway. Regis the man watched live from the studio during the first edition of his brand-new show. Montrell Teague drove the colt for his father, George Teague Jr., who also trains and owns the son of Shadow Play-Shades Of Art.
Philbin’s co-hosts surprised the longtime television personality by showing him footage of his horse in his stall decorated with University of Notre Dame memorabilia, shot last week when a camera crew visited the colt at Teague’s training center in Delaware. Philbin is a loud and proud Notre Dame alumnus.
“I’m overwhelmed, but maybe I’d like to change his name to Run For Regis,” he said.
Being unfamiliar with harness racing, the Crowd Goes Wild crew made some novice comments prior to the race, especially when the horse reversed direction to go to the gate.
“That’s the horse you bought me; thanks a lot,” Philbin joked before the race.
Starting from post 4 in a racebike with bright red wheels for identification, Regis The Horse left the gate alertly to take the lead, which elicited an enthusiastic cheer from Philbin and his co-hosts.
While being passed by Hillbilly Kid before the quarter, Philbin could be seen pumping and clenching his fist on the split screen.
Regaining the lead by the end of the backstretch, Regis The Horse had both the hosts and audience cheering and chanting, “Regis! Regis!”
When Hillbilly Kid’s move at the three-quarters was rebuffed, Philbin and crew stood up and raised their arms, cheering for the home-team horse. Loud cheers and high fives among the hosts accompanied Regis The Horse as he crossed the finish 2-1/4 lengths ahead of Samcro. Hillbilly Kid was third. Regis The Horse paid $3.20 to win.
“That was sensational! Way to go, Regis,” said Philbin before holding up a portrait of his horse.
The plans for Regis’s surprise began months ago when show producer Vin Rubino contacted the USTA office to unveil his scheme of acquiring and following the horse named after the show’s host as a birthday present. Rubino and his team met with Harrington Raceway officials, trainer Teague and representatives from the USTA in late May to figure out how to buy a horse, name it after Philbin, get it to the races on Aug. 19 with a post time between 5 and 6 p.m., and coordinate with Roberts Communications to deliver the video signal to the show in New York.
Harrington’s Matt Sparacino, the USTA’s T.C. Lane and George Teague Jr. were instrumental in coordinating and successfully surprising Philbin on his birthday.
"It's terrific to get that kind of attention for the sport," said George Teague. "We were thrilled to be a part of this and I'm really pleased the horse raced well."
The horse attracted national attention on the Internet as well. He had his own Twitter account (@RegisTheHorse) within moments of his win, and the hashtag #RegisTheHorse saw much traffic on Twitter as well.
“Congrats to Regis the horse,” tweeted champion boxer Oscar De La Hoya, who appeared as a guest on the show.
Crowd Goes Wild will continue to feature live segments each week that Philbin’s namesake races. Also, there are future plans for Philbin to meet Regis The Horse.
About Fox Sports 1 and Crowd Goes Wild
FOX Sports 1 is a new national 24-hour multi-sport cable channel launched by FOX on Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013, and will have nearly 5,000 hours of live event, news and original programming annually with distribution in more than 90 million homes nationally.
FOX Sports 1 has seven pillar sports: college basketball and football, MLB (in 2014), NASCAR, NFL (ancillary programs), soccer and UFC.
In addition, FOX Sports has a multi-year agreement to air up to 10 telecasts per year of prominent Thoroughbred graded stakes races starting in 2014 from many of horse racing’s best known tracks.
www.foxsports.com, Crowd Goes Wild is an original, and completely unpredictable, new live sports entertainment talk show. Originating from New York City, iconic broadcaster Regis Philbin and a panel of sports professionals, celebrity guests and die-hard fans put their unique spin on the biggest stories from the worlds of sports, entertainment and beyond beginning Aug. 19. Crowd Goes Wild will air weekdays from 5 – 6 p.m. ET.
|In this Instagram video, the Crowd Goes Wild control room "goes wild" after watching Regis The Horse pace to victory on live TV.|