As they did for the Kentucky Derby, both NBC Sports and Sirius XM will provide full national TV and radio coverage of the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, live from the Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore. Here’s a long press release from NBC Sports and we’ll do a jump break after that.
SUPER SAVER AND JOCKEY CALVIN BOREL HEADLINE FIELD IN PREAKNESS STAKES, SATURDAY 4:30 PM ET ON NBC“I’m gonna win the Triple Crown this year.” – Borel to NBC’s Donna Brothers after Winning Kentucky Derby1. Super Saver, 2. Lookin at Lucky, 3. First Dude – NBC’s Battaglia’s Preakness Picks“It wouldn’t surprise me one iota if he turned the tables on Super Saver on Saturday.” – NBC’s Neumeier on Lookin at Lucky
NEW YORK – May 13, 2010 – Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver with jockey Calvin Borel, who told NBC Sports reporter Donna Brothers following his Derby win that he was going to win the Triple Crown, leads the field as NBC Sports presents exclusive coverage of the 135th running of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., beginning Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET, live in high definition.Borel, whose win at the Derby was his third in four years, returns to Pimlico where he won the Preakness Stakes last year aboard super filly Rachel Alexandra. Super Saver, who will break from the No. 8 post, will get his main competition from his next door neighbor in the starting gate, Lookin at Lucky (No. 7 post) who is trained by Bob Baffert. With a win Saturday at the Preakness, Super Saver and Borel will look to become the first to win the Triple Crown since Affirmed, with jockey Steve Cauthen, in 1978.RACE COVERAGE: NBC Sports coverage of the 135th Preakness Stakes is co-hosted by Bob Costas and Tom Hammond alongside two-time Preakness winner Gary Stevens. NBC Sports’ broadcast team also includes race-caller Tom Durkin; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; reporter Kenny Rice and on-track reporter Donna Brothers. The Preakness Stakes on NBC is produced by Sam Flood and directed by David Michaels.NBC SPORTS FEATURE ON BOREL AND SUPER SAVER: For the second straight year, NBC Sports Preakness Stakes broadcast will feature the story of the Kentucky Derby winner. Last year’s feature on Mine That Bird, produced by Emmy Award-winning producers Rob Hyland and Jack Felling, won the prestigious Eclipse Award for best television feature.During its Preakness Stakes coverage on Saturday, NBC Sports will tell the story of Kentucky Derby winning horse Super Saver, with jockey Calvin Borel, surging to victory in the 136th Kentucky Derby. With the win, Borel won his record third Derby in four years; while trainer Todd Pletcher and owners WinStar Farm realized their first Derby win. The feature will explore the story of the three year old colt, Super Saver, and its connections – from jockey Calvin Borel’s trajectory in the sport and prowess at Churchill Downs to trainer Todd Pletcher’s first Derby win after 24 previous starters. And, as the Preakness approaches, Team Super Saver aims to realize Borel’s promise to win America’s coveted Triple Crown.THE HANDICAPPERSNBC Sports handicappers Neumeier and Battaglia provided their thoughts on the Preakness in separate interviews and surprisingly came to similar conclusions about the race. Their answers are below:THE PREAKNESS ACCORDING TO NEUMEIER: “The Preakness Stakes is so much different than what we saw two weeks ago at the Derby. In the Kentucky Derby, the front-runners went out very, very, very fast and we won’t see this kind of pace in the Preakness, which changes the entire complexity of the race. Super Saver was sixth or seventh in the early stages of the Derby. He may well be on the lead in the Preakness which is fine for Borel and Todd Pletcher because there doesn’t seem to be the kind of front-running speed that we saw at the Derby. It actually gives Super Saver an advantage. Assuming he breaks properly he will either have perfect position or he will be on the lead and won’t be rushed. So this pace will suit him well and I give him a reasonable chance to win on Saturday though he has only won one race this year and I don’t think he’s a super horse.”THE PREAKNESS ACCORDING BATTAGLIA: “Super Saver and Lookin at Lucky both got good draws in the No. 7 and No. 8 slots. There is definitely not as much early speed as there was in the Derby so I would expect Borel to send Super Saver from the No. 8 post. I think he will be much closer to, if not on the lead. I also think that Martin Garcia would want to get Lookin at Lucky in the race a little earlier also. He has shown some decent early speed in the past and he will definitely be a factor.”BATTAGLIA ON THE “NEW SHOOTERS”: “I kind of like First Dude in the race as a long shot from the No. 11 post. He has some tactical speed.”NEUMEIER ON THE “NEW SHOOTERS”: “Of the new shooters that I would favor, First Dude would be my top pick. I would put Schoolyard Dreams on my list too. He beat Super Saver at the Tampa Bay Derby and he’s from the same connections that brought us Musket Man, who performed well in both the Derby and the Preakness last year.”NEUMEIER ON WHO CHALLENGES SUPER SAVER: “His main competition will come from Lookin at Lucky. You have to draw a line through his last race (the Derby) because he was bothered and bumped and clanked and blocked. He’s a horse that has been in trouble in four of the last five races but he may benefit from a jockey switch. Matt Garcia, the new jockey, and Bob Baffert have had success together and, should he get a free run and not get into the kind of trouble that this horse has unfortunately been involved in – he’s been anything but lucky, I give him a chance. He’s clearly the second best horse in the race and it wouldn’t surprise me one iota if he turned the tables on Super Saver on Saturday.BATTAGLIA ON PLETCHER SADDLING A SECOND HORSE IN THE PREAKNESS: “It’s unusual that the trainer of the Derby winner starts another horse in the Preakness. The only one I can find that has ever done it is Lukas and, of course, Pletcher is Lukas’ protégé. Lukas did it twice. One year, he won the Preakness with Derby winner Charismatic but the other year, with Thunder Gulch, Lukas beat the Derby winner with Timber Country. Aikenite might get a good trip with Castellano from the rail.BATTAGLIA’S PREAKNESS PICKS:1. Super Saver2. Lookin at Lucky3. First DudeCAN SUPER SAVER WIN THE TRIPLE CROWN?BATTAGLIA: “I think he can win the Preakness but the Belmont is a whole other cup of tea. If he wins the Preakness then he’s got Nick Zito sitting there waiting with Ice Box (for the Belmont). If you look at that race, Ice Box may have been best at the Derby.”NEUMEIER: “I’d be surprised if Super Saver can win the Triple Crown even if he wins the Preakness.”PREAKNESS A RATINGS SUCCESS ON NBC:NBC Sports coverage of the Preakness Stakes now reaches five million more viewers (nearly double) than the last Preakness Stakes broadcast by ABC in 2000 (10.9 million vs.5.5 million, up 98 percent).In fact, EVERY Preakness on NBC over the past nine years had more viewers than ANY Preakness on ABC over the previous eight years.Link to the past nine years of the Preakness Stakes on NBC Sports: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/22825103/vp/24467851#24467851PREAKNESS ON NBC (2001-2009)Year Viewers2009 10.9 million2008 7.9 million2007 8.4 million2006 10.1 million2005 9.3 million2004 11.6 million2003 8.6 million2002 9.2 million2001 8.7 millionPREAKNESS ON ABC (1993-2000)Year Viewers2000 5.5 million1999 4.9 million1998 5.2 million1997 6.9 million1996 5.1 million1995 4.7 million1994 6.5 million1993 7.0 millionKENTUCKY DERBY HAS MOST VIEWERS IN 21 YEARS: NBC Sports’ coverage of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby was the most viewed Kentucky Derby in 21 years according to data provided by The Nielsen Company. The race averaged 16.5 million viewers, topping last year’s 16.3 million and two million more than the 14.2 million in 2008. Saturday’s race was the most watched Kentucky Derby since 1989 when Sunday Silence won the Derby (18.5 million).NBC Sports coverage of the Kentucky Derby now reaches more than seven million more viewers than the last Kentucky Derby broadcast by ABC in 2000 (16.5 million vs.9.1 million, up 51 percent).Link to NBC Sports’ coverage of the Kentucky Derby and hear Tom Durkin call the race: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/22825103/vp/36891056#36891056SEE THE PREAKNESS ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE: Users on the go can watch the Preakness Stakes live on their mobile phones exclusively through NBC Sports Mobile and NBC 2Go. Plus, fans can watch exclusive video and race highlights on NBC Sports Mobile (m.nbcsports.com).
SIRIUS XM RADIO TO OFFER LIVE COVERAGE OF THE PREAKNESS STAKESSecond jewel of the Triple Crown will air live May 15 on SIRIUS channel 126 and XM channel 243Exclusive SIRIUS XM talk show “Down The Stretch” to provide horse racing fans with news and analysisNEW YORK – SIRIUS XM Radio will offer listeners nationwide a live broadcast of the second jewel of thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown, the Preakness Stakes, from Baltimore, MD, this Saturday, May 15 (5:00 – 7:00 pm ET) on SIRIUS channel 126 and XM channel 243.The live race broadcast will air as part of a special edition of SIRIUS XM’s exclusive horse racing talk show, Down The Stretch, hosted by acclaimed track announcer Dave Johnson and noted journalist Bill Finley. SIRIUS XM listeners will hear Pimlico Race Course announcer Dave Rodman provide the live wire-to-wire call of the Preakness as Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and jockey Calvin Borel attempt to take another step in their bid for the 12th Triple Crown in thoroughbred racing history.In addition, Johnson and Finley will host Down The Stretch live from Pimlico at its regularly scheduled time, Saturday from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm ET on SIRIUS channel 126 and XM channel 243. Johnson and Finley will take calls from listeners and provide fans with race day news and analysis, plus interviews with jockeys, trainers and owners.