FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 5th, 2016
NBC SPORTS GROUP’S KENTUCKY DERBY BROADCAST TEAM DISCUSSES FIELD OF HORSES, LEGACY OF AMERICAN PHAROAH AHEAD OF TRIPLE CROWN’S FIRST LEG
“Wherever I go around the country, around the world, people say, ‘I’ve got to go to the Kentucky Derby, it’s on my bucket list.’” – Tom Hammond
“I spent 19 years as a jockey in search of my first Kentucky Derby, and when I won it in 1993, I couldn’t wait to come back the next year to try and win it again. The feeling was overwhelming.” – Jerry Bailey
“At this point in their careers, Nyquist is actually far more accomplished than American Pharoah.” – Randy Moss
142nd “Run for the Roses” This Saturday, May 7, at 4 p.m. ET on NBC
STAMFORD, Conn. – May 5, 2016 – NBC Sports Group’s Kentucky Derby broadcast team discussed this year’s field of horses and the legacy of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah ahead of NBC’s presentation of the 142nd “Run for the Roses” this Saturday at 4 p.m. ET. Following are highlights from NBCSN’s Kentucky Derby Draw show and NBC Sports Group’s Kentucky Derby media conference call yesterday.
NBC Sports Group presents 15.5 live hours of Kentucky Derby coverage continuing today, Thursday, May 5, with the Kentucky Derby Access show at 4 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and culminating with the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby on NBC, this Saturday, May 7 at 4 p.m. ET. Saturday’s Derby Day coverage begins at Noon ET on NBCSN.
Highlights from Wednesday’s Kentucky Derby Draw Show on NBCSN:
Randy Moss on Kentucky Derby-favorite Nyquist: “At this point in their careers, Nyquist is actually far more accomplished than American Pharoah.”
Randy Moss on Nyquist’s #13 post position: “Mario Gutierrez’s job on the favorite Nyquist got a little bit tougher. He is inside what is projected to be the other two speed horses (Outwork & Danzing Candy). If they’d had their druthers, Nyquist would have been outside the two other projected speed horses.”
Jerry Bailey on the draw: “The biggest loser was Brody’s Cause (#19 post position). He might get stacked up five, six, or seven (deep) going into the first turn, or take it back further than where he’d like to save some ground.”
Highlights from Wednesday’s NBC Sports Group Kentucky Derby conference call:
Tom Hammond: “Wherever I go around the country, around the world, people say, ‘I’ve got to go to the Kentucky Derby, it’s on my bucket list.’”
Jerry Bailey: “I spent 19 years as a jockey in search of my first Kentucky Derby, and when I won it in 1993, I couldn’t wait to come back the next year to try and win it again. The feeling was overwhelming. Experiencing the Triple Crown, my first real Triple Crown, watching it up close, I couldn’t wait to get back here…when we leave on Saturday evening, there will still be a chance of a Triple Crown when we head to Baltimore.”
Bob Neumeier: “Will we have another American Pharoah? Nyquist is the headliner. He’s unbeaten. He’ll be the favorite. I don’t know to what odds he will be, but I know that just simplistically, I will look at it and say, you’ve got to beat Nyquist if you want to win the Kentucky Derby.”
Larry Collmus: “We start afresh with a new group of 20 three-year-olds, and for a race caller, there are new challenges. And this year’s challenges include several horses that like to come from well behind. So we are going to have to keep an eye on a lot of those late-running, closing-type horses.”
Randy Moss: “It’s probably unfair of these horses to compare them to American Pharoah. I mean, who knows. Nyquist is certainly nothing to sneeze at, has a perfect 7-for-7. But when you think back to 37 years of Triple Crown failure, all the good horses, all the good three-year-olds that we saw in those years, there’s still a lot to look forward to in this Kentucky Derby.”
Tom Hammond on American Pharoah winning the Triple Crown: “I’ve been in a lot bigger venues: Olympic Stadium in Sydney, the Big House in Michigan, Neyland Stadium in Tennessee, but I’ve never heard a sound as deafening as those 90,000 at Belmont made. Beginning when the horses turned for home and became apparent he was going to win the Triple Crown, and continuing all the way to the backstretch where they pulled him up. And then I thought Victor Espinoza did a brilliant thing: Instead of taking him right into the winner’s circle, he paraded him the length of the grandstand to let everybody have a good look at the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years. So I’ve had many, many thrills in all of these 32 years at NBC, but that ranks right up there with the best of them.”
Eddie Olcyzk on 2015 Triple Crown: “I’ve played in a lot of great events, been to a lot of sporting events, which means that was the greatest sporting event I was ever at was the Belmont last year.”
For conference call transcript, click here.
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.The 2015 Kentucky Derby on NBC averaged 16 million viewers, which for the first time ever was the most-watched program in May, topping everything on TV including primetime season finales. Women comprised 49% of that audience – the highest percentage among major 2015 sporting events.
AWARDS FOR NBC’S HORSE RACING COVERAGE: NBC Sports Group’s coverage of American Pharoah’s historic Triple Crown run garnered five 2015 Sports Emmy nominations, highlighted by the nomination of NBC’s 147th Belmont Stakes presentation in the Outstanding Live Sports Special category. Since its involvement in the Triple Crown, NBC Sports has been honored with 16 Eclipse Awards for its thoroughbred racing coverage including the award for Television – Live Program for the 2015 Belmont Stakes, 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).
–NBC SPORTS GROUP–