The crowd went wild--literally--on Monday's debut of Crowd Goes Wild on the new Fox Sports 1 network as they and host Regis Philbin watched as Regis The Horse won the first race at Harrington Raceway. The 81-year-old Philbin was surprised midway through the one-hour show with the news that a 2-year-old pacer owned and trained by George Teague Jr. had been named in his honor and that he would be able to see the horse compete live.
A video link to the Crowd Goes Wild segment can be found below.
Regis The Horse was driven by Montrell Teague and took the lead early and never looked back. After getting away second and then quickly moving to the lead, Regis The Horse was urged on by the cheering of "Regis! Regis! Regis!" by the live studio audience, Philbin and the other five panelists of his talk show. Using a split screen to show both the race and the excited host, Philbin was fist pumping and clapping while watching his namesake. When Regis The Horse crossed the wire 2 1/4 lengths in front in 1:56.4, Philbin exchanged high-fives with his TV peers as they all stood and cheered.
British sportscaster Georgie Thompson noted they wanted to give Philbin a present for his upcoming birthday but that it "is hard to find something for someone who has everything." A taped segment was then shown that showed Regis The Horse at Teague's farm. The video included a peek at Regis The Horse's stall that had pictures of Philbin as well as a number of memorabilia noting his backing of Notre Dame University sports teams. A "Tale of the Tape" graphic was also shown comparing the two Regises, including noting that Philbin's favorite foods are meat and potatoes, while the horse's favorite foods are carrots and apples.
"I'm overwhelmed," said Philbin, who was caught offguard by the surprise.
TO SEE THE VIDEO SEGMENT OF REGIS RECEIVING HIS GIFT HORSE AND LOOKING AT IN THE MOUTH, PLEASE CLICK HERE.
Regis The Horse was making his fourth career start, following three efforts in Ontario Sires Stakes Grass Roots events in Canada that led to just $3,325 in earnings. Finding the competition much easier in Delaware, Regis The Horse, a son of Shadow Play, took home the winner's share of the $5,300 purse as he returned $3.20 for a $2 win ticket.
Later in the show, co-host Katie Nolan noted that social media was lighting up with news about Regis The Horse and that the freshman pacer already had a Twitter account. Philbin was also presented with a framed photograph of the horse, which he proudly displayed on the desk. Crowd Goes Wild airs nightly on Fox Sports 1 at 5 p.m. and is repeated on Fox Sports 2 at 6 p.m. The show will feature future updates of Regis The Horse as well as races that fall in the one-hour time frame of the initial live show from 5-6 p.m.