FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
AMERICAN PHAROAH AIMS FOR 2ND LEG OF TRIPLE CROWN IN THE 140TH PREAKNESS STAKES THIS SAT., MAY 16 AT 4:30 PM ET ON NBC
Coverage from Pimlico Begins Friday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN & Continues Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN
“What makes this race so intriguing is the distinct possibility of either Derby runner-up Firing Line or third-place finisher Dortmund turning the tables on [American Pharoah]” – Two-Time Preakness Winner Jerry Bailey
“American Pharoah was clearly superior to Firing Line and Dortmund in the Kentucky Derby, and with the Preakness only two weeks later, Derby winners often maintain their advantage” – Randy Moss
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 13, 2015 – Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah leads the field as the NBC Sports Group presents 6.5 hours of coverage of the 140th running of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. For the first time since 2009, the top three finishers in the Kentucky Derby – American Pharoah, Firing Line, and Dortmund – return to compete in the Preakness. Coverage from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Md., begins Friday at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and culminates with the Preakness Stakes Saturday at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.
With a win Saturday at the Preakness Stakes, American Pharoah will head to the Belmont aiming to become the first horse to win the elusive Triple Crown since Affirmed, with jockey Steve Cauthen, in 1978. NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Belmont Stakes begins Friday, June 5.
COMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Preakness Stakes features hosts Bob Costas, a 26-time Emmy Award-winner, and Tom Hammond, a veteran NBC Sports commentator; analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Preakness winner; analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk; NBCSN host/NBC reporter Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers and Jay Privman; and race caller Larry Collmus. Josh Elliott and Carolyn Manno provide a mix of features and interviews at Pimlico Race Course. Elliott hosts NBCSN’s Black Eyed Susan Stakes coverage this Friday, May 15.
FEATURES AND STORYLINES: Following are the features NBC Sports Group will present on its Preakness coverage:
- Josh Elliott examines the new and returning shooters;
- Elliott tells the story of Afleet Alex, who won the Preakness and Belmont Stakes 10 years ago, and how owners Cash Is King Stable pledged a percentage of the colt’s earnings to be donated to Alex’s Lemonade Stand, an American pediatric cancer charity. Donations to date have totaled more than $100 million;
- A look at the owners of American Pharoah, the Zayat family;
- A profile on jockey Victor Espinoza, who won the Kentucky Derby on American Pharoah one year after taking California Chrome to Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes wins.
The coordinating producer of NBC’s horse racing coverage is Rob Hyland, who has been a part of the network’s horse racing coverage since 2001. The Preakness Stakes is directed by Sunday Night Football and NBC Sports’ horse racing director, Drew Esocoff. The coverage on NBCSN is produced by Billy Matthews and directed by Charlie Dammeyer. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN is Sam Flood, who has produced 12 Triple Crown races for the network.
|PREAKNESS STAKES COVERAGE|
|Fri., May 15||3 p.m.||Black Eyed Susan Stakes||NBCSN|
|Sat., May 16||2:30 p.m.||Preakness Saturday||NBCSN|
|Sat., May 16||4:30 p.m.||Preakness Stakes||NBC|
|Sat., May 16||6:30 p.m.||Preakness Post-Race Show||NBCSN|
NBC Sports horse racing analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss on the Preakness:
TWO-TIME PREAKNESS WINNER JERRY BAILEY: “This year’s Preakness features the rematch of the top three Kentucky Derby finishers, as Derby winner American Pharaoh attempts to move one step closer to Thoroughbred racing immortality. What makes this race so intriguing is the distinct possibility of either Derby runner-up Firing Line or third-place finisher Dortmund turning the tables on the leading three-year-old in the country, and even the remote chance of one of four other three-year-old challengers taking the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown.”
ANALYST RANDY MOSS: “American Pharoah was clearly superior to Firing Line and Dortmund in the Kentucky Derby – and with the Preakness only two weeks later, Derby winners often maintain their advantage. But wily veteran Gary Stevens aboard Firing Line has experience in turning the tables, so to speak. Many think ‘Pharoah’ has what it takes to give the sport its first Triple Crown winner since 1978, but I’m not yet convinced. In any event, American Pharoah must first get past stage two – which won’t be a gimme.”
EDDIE OLCZYK CASHES IN AT KENTUCKY DERBY
Horse racing handicapper Eddie Olczyk cashed in at this year’s Kentucky Derby, his first as a member of the NBC Sports Group Triple Crown team. Olczyk provided viewers with his bets prior to races throughout the weekend, including the Kentucky Derby. Olczyk started the weekend with a $100 bankroll, generating $740.50 in winnings, for a final net total of $447.50 dollars.
Olczyk’s correct bets included two exacta box bets on Friday (Race 5) and Saturday (Race 7), as well as a trifecta box bet for the Kentucky Derby.
NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA PREAKNESS STAKES COVERAGE
NBC Sports Live Extra — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, and tablets — will stream Preakness Stakes coverage on NBC and NBCSN via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports Live Extra app is available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play and Windows Store. For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra.
NBC Sports Live Extra’s Preakness Stakes coverage includes:
- Two exclusive isolation cameras, including one on Kentucky Derby winner American Pharoah during the race
- Bonus analysis by NBC Sports commentators
- Replays and highlights from the Kentucky Derby and earlier prep races
NBC SPORTS RADIO PREANKESS STAKES COVERAGE
For the first time, NBC Sports Radio will present two hours of live Preakness Stakes coverage beginning Saturday, May 16 at 5 p.m. ET. Produced in partnership with Horse Racing Radio Network (HRRN), and distributed by Westwood One, NBC Sports Radio presents live radio coverage of all three Triple Crown races this year, continuing with the Belmont Stakes on Saturday, June 6.
For more information on programming, please contact Westwood One at NBCSportsRadio@westwoodone.com. For a complete schedule of shows, bios, exclusive audio content, and a list of radio stations airing NBC Sports Radio, log on to NBCSportsRadio.com.
PREAKNESS STAKES ALL-ACCESS
Horse racing fans can access content from the Preakness at a “social center” housed on NBCSports.com/Preakness. Fans can access and sort social media content from Instagram, Twitter and Vine through various streams including horse racing experts, horses (including the horses themselves, jockeys and trainers), a photos-only section and Vine videos. Preakness All-Access aggregates what’s trending around the race and what’s hot in the social world. In addition, fans can plug in their first and last names and will be given their ‘Horse Name’ to be shared on Twitter.
Twitter: Viewers and Twitter users alike will be encouraged to join the conversation by using the hashtag #PREAKNESS. Reminders will appear on screen throughout NBC Sports Group’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 leading up to the Preakness, including the Preakness Draw.
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 www.facebook.com/NBCSports. The nation’s votes will be tallied and shown on-air during the Preakness broadcast.
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NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.
NBC Sports’ coverage of American Pharoah’s down-to-the-wire victory in the 2015 Kentucky Derby averaged 16.0 million viewers – up 4% from last year (15.3 million for California Chrome’s victory) and marking the fifth time in seven years (2009, 2010, 2013, 2014, 2015) that NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage averaged more than 15 million viewers.
The 2014 Preakness Stakes registered a 6.0 household rating, ranking as the highest-rated Preakness Stakes since 2009. The 2014 Belmont Stakes on NBC, featuring California Chrome’s Triple Crown attempt, averaged 20.4 million viewers – the second-highest Belmont Stakes viewership on record, trailing only the 21.9 million viewers for NBC’s telecast of Smarty Jones’ Triple Crown attempt in 2004 (People Meter viewership dates to 1988).
AWARDS FOR NBC’S HORSE RACING COVERAGE: Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 15 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage including the award for Television – Live Program for the 2014 Breeders’ Cup Classic and the 2013 Kentucky Derby. NBC’s previous wins in that category include: Preakness (2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2008), Kentucky Derby (2007, 2012), Belmont (2004) and Breeder’s Cup (2001). Additionally, NBC Sports has won four Eclipse Awards in the features category: “California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion,” which aired on NBCSN in June 2014, a 2002 feature on War Emblem (Preakness broadcast), a 2005 feature on Afleet Alex (Kentucky Derby broadcast) and a 2009 feature on Mine That Bird (Preakness broadcast). In addition, the 2014 Belmont Stakes broadcast was nominated for the Sports Emmy Award Outstanding Live Sports Special this year.
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–