via press release:
I’LL HAVE ANOTHER VS. BODEMEISTER
Coverage From Pimlico Begins Tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and Culminates with the 137th Preakness Stakes on NBC on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET
“My feel on Bodemeister is he’s just had too many races. He’s had five this year, and the advantage that I’ll Have Another has, in my opinion, is that he’s the fresher horse. – NBC Sports Handicapper Bob Neumeier
“Every year I say I don’t like the new shooters, but the new shooters have been in the exacta eight times and in the trifecta nine times in the last 10 years.” – NBC Sports Handicapper Mike Battaglia
NBC Sports Group’s Triple Crown Coverage Continues with the Belmont Stakes Saturday, June 9
NEW YORK – May 17, 2012 – Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another leads the field as the NBC Sports Group presents 6½ hours of coverage of the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. Coverage begins from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., tomorrow at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network, and culminates with the Preakness Stakes Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
With a win Saturday at the Preakness, I’ll Have Another will head to the Belmont in hopes of becoming the first horse to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed, with jockey Steve Cauthen, in 1978. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Belmont Stakes begins Friday, June 8.
COMMENTATORS: NBC’s coverage of the 137th Preakness Stakes is hosted by Tom Hammond alongside two-time Preakness Stakes-winning jockey Gary Stevens; analyst Randy Moss; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; host Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman; and race caller Larry Collmus, a Baltimore native.
Additionally, Hall-of-Fame jockey and two-time Kentucky Derby-winner Jerry Bailey will join NBC Sports Network’s commentary team on Preakness day. Bailey won the Preakness twice – aboard Hansel in 1991 and Red Bullet in 2000.
FEATURES AND STORYLINES: The features NBC Sports Group is preparing for its Preakness coverage include:
· A look at jockey Mario Gutierrez and his unlikely journey to win the Kentucky Derby;
· Randy Moss sit-down interview with Doug O’Neil, the controversial trainer of Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another;
· Feature on Under Armor CEO Kevin Plank and his commitment to horse racing in the state of Maryland. Plank’s horse Tiger Walk is entered in the Preakness.
· Stevens and Bailey will break down the Kentucky Derby trips of the returning horses: I’ll Have Another, Bodemeister, Went the Day Well and Creative Cause.
PRODUCTION TEAM: The coverage on NBC will be produced by Rob Hyland, a veteran of the network’s horse racing coverage since 2001, and directed by Sunday Night Football and NBC Sports’ horse racing director, Drew Esocoff. The coverage on NBC Sports Network is produced by Billy Matthews and directed by Doug Grabert. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network is Sam Flood, who has produced 11 Triple Crown races for the network.
Fri. May 18
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.
NBC Sports Network
4 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Black Eyed Susan Stakes
NBC Sports Network
Sat. May 19
2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Preakness Stakes Saturday
NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m. – 7 p.m.
Preakness Post-Race Show
NBC Sports Network
NBC Sports handicappers Neumeier and Battaglia provided their thoughts on the Preakness in separate interviews and came to similar conclusions about the race. Their answers are below:
THE PREAKNESS ACCORDING TO NEUMEIER: “There’s a reasonable chance that this race could be what they call a merry-go-round. That expression basically means that nobody passes anybody on the lead – it’s an old racing expression. Bodemeister should have a lead and I think he’ll be dogged by I’ll Have Another, barring something crazy. Bodemeister might get weary down the stretch and I’ll Have Another might pass him, but I like both horses – 1-2 on either side. Those are the favorites. That’s how it shapes up to me.”
THE PREAKNESS ACCORDING BATTAGLIA: “Bodemeister is going to have it a little easier on the front end than he did at the Derby. It’s not going to be that same suicidal pace. When you look at this race, there are four Kentucky Derby horses back and all are solid contenders. I think that Bodemeister has an edge because of the pace factor, but it’s tough to throw out the other three – I’ll Have Another, Creative Cause and Went the Day Well.”
BATTAGLIA ON DERBY WINNER NOT FAVORED AT THE PREAKNESS: “Normally the Derby winner is the favorite. But I think they got it correct here. I think that it’ll be a slight favoritism – not a big favoritism – for Bodemeister. He and I’ll Have Another will be close in wagering.”
NEUMEIER ON BODEMEISTER: “My feel on Bodemeister is he’s just had too many races. He’s had five this year, and the advantage that I’ll Have Another has, in my opinion, is that he’s the fresher horse. Bodemeister has had two more races this year than I’ll Have Another, and they only have so many in them, so that would be my only fear about Bodemeister. He’s just been overraced.”
NEUMEIER ON I’LL HAVE ANOTHER: “I’ll Have Another has an excellent chance to win this race. Absolutely. He’ll be dogging Bodemeister, and when the time comes to make the run, he’s certainly fresh enough with two weeks off.”
BATTAGLIA ON THE NEW SHOOTERS (Horses in the Preakness that didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby): “Every year I say I don’t like the new shooters, but a new shooter have been in the exacta eight times, and in the trifecta nine times in the last ten years.”
NEUMEIER’S PICKS: “If I were to rank them, I’d put I’ll Have Another first, Bodemeister second, Creative Cause and Went the Day Well a toss-up for third.”
BATTAGLIA’S PICKS: “It’s going to be Bodemeister. It’s the four Derby horses (finishing in the top four). I keep looking at Went the Day Well and think that he’s going to be able to close a little bit better, so I think that he could be there. It’ll be close between him and I’ll Have Another for second, Creative Cause will be right there in fourth, but I’ve got Bodemeister on top.”
Similar to Kentucky Derby Extra, Preakness Extra is the online connection to coverage of the Preakness Stakes. Available at NBCSports.com with live streaming of the NBC broadcast of the Preakness, other features of Preakness Extra include:
An online-only isolation camera on Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another during the race;
Online-only analysis by NBC and NBC Sports Network commentators in days leading up to race plus post race, online commentary by NBC commentators;
Replays and highlights from the Kentucky Derby and earlier prep races;
A video simulation of how this year’s Preakness might play out with 2012 Preakness entrants in virtual competition simulating Preakness conditions and track.