Kentucky Derby

via press release:


Kentucky Derby Winner Orb and ‘New Shooter’ Departing Lead Field

Coverage from Pimlico Begins Friday at 3 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network and Culminates with the 138th Preakness Stakes on NBC on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET

“I fully expect him to win the Preakness.” – NBC’s Bob Neumeier on Orb

“I think this horse has a legitimate chance to win the Triple Crown.”– NBC’s Mike Battaglia on Orb

NBC Sports Group’s Triple Crown Coverage Continues with the Belmont Stakes Saturday, June 8

NEW YORK – May 13, 2013 – Kentucky Derby winner Orb leads the field as the NBC Sports Group presents 6½ hours of coverage of the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. Coverage begins from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., Friday 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 Stakes, Orb will head to the Belmont in hopes of becoming the first horse to win horse racing’s elusive Triple Crown since Affirmed, with jockey Steve Cauthen, in 1978. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Belmont Stakes begins Friday, June 7.

COMMENTATORS: NBC’s coverage of the 138th Preakness Stakes is co-hosted by 25-time Emmy Award-winner Bob Costas and NBC’s veteran horse racing commentator Tom Hammond; two-time Preakness Stakes-winning jockey Jerry Bailey; analyst Randy Moss; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; host Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman; race caller Larry Collmus, a Baltimore native; and Michelle Beadle, who will contribute features and handle interviews.

FEATURES AND STORYLINES: The features NBC Sports Group is preparing for its Preakness coverage includes:

  • A look at Kentucky Derby winning horse Orb and his connections;
  • Jockey Joel Rosario: from his roots in the Dominican Republic to the Kentucky Derby winner’s circle, Rosario has been red-hot this year (also won the 10 million dollar Dubai World Cup on 3/30). A year ago at the Preakness, Rosario received the news that one of his brothers had been killed;
  • Illinois Derby winner Departing, owned by Claiborne Farm, skipped the Kentucky Derby to be fresh for the Preakness. Departing and Orb grew up on the same field at Claiborne Horse Farm in Paris, Ky.;
  • D. Wayne Lukas, the five-time Preakness Stakes-winning trainer, brings three horses to Pimlico (Oxbow with jockey Gary Stevens, Will Take Charge with jockey Mike Smith and new shooter, Titletown Five with jockey Julian Leparoux);
  • Bob Costas on the history of Pimlico and racing in Baltimore;
  • Michelle Beadle on the sights and sounds of the Preakness Stakes.

PRODUCTION TEAM: The coverage on NBC will be produced by NBC’s Triple Crown producer Rob Hyland, a veteran of the network’s horse racing coverage since 2001, and directed by Sunday Night Football and NBC Sports’ Triple Crown director, Drew Esocoff. The coverage on NBC Sports Network is produced by Billy Matthews and directed by Patrick McManus. 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 17 3 p.m. – 4 p.m. Preakness Classics NBC Sports Network
4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Black Eyed Susan Stakes NBC Sports Network
Sat. May 18 2:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Preakness Stakes Saturday NBC Sports Network
4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Preakness Stakes NBC
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. Their comments are below:

THE PREAKNESS ACCORDING TO NEUMEIER: “Orb will not be as far back as he was in the Derby. There are fewer horses, probably a less frenetic pace, so I think you’ll see him in the neighborhood between five and ten lengths back halfway through the race, which is fine. That’s kind of where he wants to be. There are a number of early speed horses that will set him up. It actually sets up perfectly for him and barring something crazy, he’s by far the horse to beat. I think he’s going to go off the in the neighborhood of even money or 4 to 5.”

BATTAGLIA ON ORB: “What makes him so attractive as a Triple Crown candidate is that he is not a one dimensional horse. You have to be more than a one dimensional horse to win the Triple Crown, and he’s proven that already. The pace scenario is not going to be as important to me in the Preakness, because I think he can adapt to anything. What I like so much about Orb is how tactical he is. In the Florida Derby, when the pace was slow, he was right there, just off the pack, made his move, and won impressively. When the pace is fast, like in the Kentucky Derby, he can stay back and then make his move.”

NEUMEIER ON ORB: “We know that anything is possible in racing, any number of things can happen. He could stumble or he gets an injury between now and then, or something happens in a race like he gets blocked or steadied or cut off, there are a million things. His jockey gets tossed out of the gate, that’s always possible. But barring something untoward, I fully expect him to win the Preakness.”

BATTAGLIA ON ORB’S CHANCES AT THE TRIPLE CROWN: “This horse has really nice Triple Crown possibilities about him. He’s just so versatile and he’s so good right now. I love the fact that he’s on the five-race win streak and he just keeps getting better. And every race has been better than the last one. His trainer, Shug McGaughey, is such a good horseman. If there’s anybody that can keep a horse ready in five weeks, it’s Shug. This horse has a legitimate chance to win the Triple Crown.”

NEUMEIER ON THE VEGAS LINE ON ORB TO WIN THE TRIPLE CROWN: “I see that Vegas has posted 3:1 odds that he will win the Triple Crown, which is a lot of respect for Orb considering nobody’s won since 1978. It would be hard for me to bet on that, but it speaks for itself that they’re only putting it at 3:1. People want to jump on it, feel free. I hope he does it.”

BATTAGLIA ON THE NEW SHOOTERS (Horses in the Preakness that didn’t run in the Kentucky Derby): “The Illinois Derby has been a key race and I thought Departing ran a hell of a race, so I definitely think he’s a contender as a new shooter. Governor Charlie is an interesting new shooter too just because of his speed and because of (trainer Bob) Baffert. But he had that bruise on his foot and he didn’t make the Derby. I just think he’s kind of iffy so I’m probably going to stay away from him. And I think that Baffert will have Titletown Five on the lead.”

NEUMEIER ON ‘NEW SHOOTER’ DEPARTING: “Departing is a cut below some of the top three horses. But he will go in to the race with some confidence after winning the Illinois Derby, so I’d definitely put him in the mix. I don’t think he’s in the class of Orb by any stretch of the imagination, but I think that if you’re looking at a range of maybe four or five horses that I would put behind Orb, he would be one of them for sure.”

BATTAGLIA ON IT’S MY LUCKY DAY: “It’s My Lucky Day is going to improve. For whatever the reason, he didn’t handle the mud (at the Kentucky Derby). I like the way he trained up to the Derby, and he’s getting Johnny Velasquez aboard, and that’s a big plus for him. With Velazquez up, and throwing out the race in the mud, he could be really dangerous. I like the way he ran behind Orb in the Florida Derby. I thought that was a big effort and I’m thinking that he’s going to show a little better than he did last time in the mud.

BATTAGLIA ON WILL TAKE CHARGE: “Will Take Charge was flying in the Kentucky Derby. He was making a move right next to Orb, and Verrazano was getting tired. Verrazano stopped, ducked out right in front of Will Take Charge, and Jon Court had to check up Will Take Charge. This horse was really making a nice late run and he got absolutely slaughtered. I think he’s a nice longshot possibility.”


NBC Sports Live Extra — the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will stream Preakness coverage on NBC and NBC Sports Network. The majority of the content will be streamed live via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play.

Content airing on NBC, including the Preakness race, will be streamed to PC’s, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra.

Content for the Preakness includes:

  • An online-only isolation camera on Kentucky Derby winner Orb during the race;
  • Online-only analysis by NBC Sports 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 2013 Preakness entrants in virtual competition simulating Preakness conditions and track.


NBC Sports Group will implement its All-Access social media strategy for Preakness week on both NBC and NBC Sports Network. A dedicated social media producer will be on-site for behind-the-scenes content including breaking news, photos and video from Pimlico.

Twitter: Viewers and Tweeters alike will be encouraged to join the conversation by using the hashtag #PREAKNESS. Reminders will appear on screen throughout all of NBC’s Preakness coverage.

  • On-air integration of live tweets from celebrities, horse racing experts and @NBCSN will be featured on screen throughout the broadcasts to keep viewers up to date with what’s happening on Twitter
  • A Trending Bar will be integrated into the live broadcast coverage to update viewers in real time as to what Preakness related terms are trending on Twitter;
  • For the ultimate horse racing fan, @NBCSN will live tweet all week leading up to the Preakness, including the Preakness Draw, and provide interactive trivia and “Did You Know” tweets during the Preakness Classic broadcast. It will give fans behind the scenes access and information like never before.

Facebook: Fans will have the chance to join in on the Preakness broadcast:

  • Everyone at home can pick their winner with the “Choose the Winning Horse” Facebook poll on The nation’s votes will be tallied and shown on-air during the Preakness broadcast.


Since NBC began broadcasting the Preakness in 2001, every Preakness telecast on NBC over that period attracted more viewers than any Preakness telecast on ABC in the previous eight years. Viewership for the Preakness is up an average of 63% in the 11 years on NBC compared to the previous eight years on ABC.

PREAKNESS ON NBC (2001-2012)

Year Viewers
2012 8.1 million
2011 8.8 million
2010 8.4 million
2009 10.9 million
2008 7.9 million
2007 8.4 million
2006 10.1 million
2005 9.3 million
2004 11.6 million
2003 8.6 million
2002 9.2 million
2001 8.7 million

PREAKNESS ON ABC (1993-2000)

Year Viewers
2000 5.5 million
1999 4.9 million
1998 5.2 million
1997 6.9 million
1996 5.1 million
1995 4.7 million
1994 6.5 million
1993 7.0 million

16.2 MILLION WATCH KENTUCKY DERBY: NBC Sports’ coverage of the Kentucky Derby drew 16.2 million viewers, making it the second most-watched Kentucky Derby since 1989. The viewership for the race is up nine percent from last year’s Derby (14.8 million) and up 12 percent from the Derby in 2011 (14.5 million).

Utilizing NBC Sports’ ‘Big Event Strategy,’ three of the last five Kentucky Derby races have recorded at least 16 million viewers.

NBC Sports’ coverage of the Kentucky Derby over the last 13 races averages more than 2 million more viewers than the previous 12 Kentucky Derby broadcasts on ABC (14.3 million vs.12.0 million, up 19 percent). NBC’s average viewership of 14.3 million over the last 13 Kentucky Derby broadcasts is more than six million more than the last six years that ABC aired the Derby (1995-2000).

Link to NBC’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby and hear Larry Collmus call the race:

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Posted by:TV By The Numbers

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