Mike Tirico Hosts Breeders’ Cup Classic This Saturday on NBC
NBC Sports Group to Utilize ‘Rail Bird’ Camera on the Front Stretch for First Time, Providing New Perspective for Race Finish
‘Jockey Cam’ Returns to Provide Unique On-Track Perspective
Coverage Streamed Live on NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app
STAMFORD, Conn. – October 30, 2018 – This weekend, NBC Sports presents the richest two days in horse racing, with $30 million in prize money and awards at stake, highlighted by the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic this Saturday, Nov. 3, live at 3:30 p.m. ET on NBC. The 35th Breeders’ Cup World Championships return to Churchill Downs in Louisville for the first time since 2011, as expected favorite Accelerate vies for Horse of the Year accolades with his run in the Classic.
The running of the Breeders’ Cup Classic culminates nine hours of Breeders’ Cup World Championships coverage this week on NBC and NBCSN from Louisville, including live coverage of 11 races.
NBCSN’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships begins this Thursday, Nov. 1, at 7 p.m. ET with handicapping special “Betting the Breeders’ Cup.” Live coverage begins Friday, Nov. 2, at 3 p.m. ET, followed by five live hours on Saturday, Nov. 3 – beginning at 1 p.m. ET on NBCSN and continuing on NBC at 3:30 p.m. ET.
Accelerate won his fourth Grade 1 race this year in the Awesome Again Stakes in September, beating West Coast, one of Triple Crown-winning trainer and Hall of Famer Bob Baffert’s two horses racing in the Classic this weekend. Baffert took home the sport’s top prize for the second time this year when Justify won the Triple Crown before being retired from racing in July. The Classic field also includes the Baffert-trained McKinzie, as well as the richest New York-bred horse in history Mind Your Biscuits.
2018 BREEDERS’ CUP TELEVISION SCHEDULE:
|Thurs., Nov. 1||7 p.m.||Betting the Breeders’ Cup||NBCSN|
|Fri., Nov. 2||3 p.m.||Breeders’ Cup World Championships||NBCSN|
|Sat., Nov. 3||1 p.m.||Breeders’ Cup Classic||NBCSN|
|Sat., Nov. 3||3:30 p.m.||Breeders’ Cup Classic||NBC|
COMMENTATORS: Mike Tirico hosts coverage, joined by analyst and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who owns 15 Breeders’ Cup wins, including five victories in the Classic, analyst Randy Moss; host/reporters Laffit Pincay III and Nick Luck; analyst/handicapper Eddie Olczyk and reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers, and Britney Eurton. NBC’s Triple Crown race caller Larry Collmus will call all of the Breeders’ Cup races. In addition, Daily Racing Form’s Matt Bernier will serve as a handicapper. Thursday night’s “Betting the Breeders’ Cup” special features Laffit Pincay III, Nick Luck, Eddie Olczyk, Britney Eurton, and Matt Bernier.
BAILEY & MOSS ON BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC
Jerry Bailey: “Accelerate has been the leader in the Classic division most of the year, yet he will have his hoofs full when the gates open November 3. Even though trainer Bob Baffert has retired Triple Crown-winner Justify, he will bring a formidable challenger in West Coast, who was third in this race last year but was most recently second to Accelerate in their match-up a month ago (in the Awesome Again Stakes). It should be an exciting rematch that will put a bow on a talent-laden Breeders’ Cup program.”
Randy Moss: “Horse racing is similar to the NFL in that horses are constantly having to prove themselves, and the narrative is always changing. Accelerate looked invincible this summer and would have been an overwhelming Classic favorite a month ago. But even though he won his most recent race, he made mistakes and suddenly seemed vulnerable. Now the prevailing storyline is whether Accelerate is in peak form. And right or wrong, that’s why owners and trainers are lining up to run against him.”
“RAIL BIRD” CAMERA MOVES TO FRONT STRETCH, COVERS FINISH LINE FOR FIRST TIME
For the first time ever at the Breeders’ Cup, NBC Sports will be using the “rail bird” camera to cover 2,000 feet on the front stretch, providing a new perspective for the finish of a horse race. The “rail bird” camera debuted on the backstretch at Churchill Downs for the 2018 Kentucky Derby, and was used throughout Justify’s Triple Crown run.
NBC Sports will showcase the return of the ‘Jockey Cam’ mounted on the helmet of jockey Mike Smith in the Classic. Debuted in the U.S. for the first time at the 2017 Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Smith, the helmet-mounted camera will provide a first-person, on-track view of the races for fans. Footage from the Jockey Cam powered by Aston-Martin will be incorporated into Breeders’ Cup coverage on NBC and NBCSN this Friday and Saturday from Churchill Downs, and will be live streamed on the Breeders’ Cup official website and social channels, on the Breeders’ Cup mobile app, as well as on NBCSports.com, and the NBC Sports app.
The 74-gram (2.6 ounces) camera, which was produced by the U.K.-based Equine Productions and delivers full HD pictures and live broadcast-ready streaming at 1080I, will be mounted on the helmets of Smith and jockey Julien Leparoux during select races.
NEW BREEDERS’ CUP-DESIGNED PEACOCK PADDOCK DEBUTS
A new Breeders’ Cup-designed version of the Peacock Paddock has been custom built for this year’s event. The newest innovation on the Purple Carpet at Churchill Downs, the Peacock Paddock will be the centerpiece in coverage of celebrities, fashion trends, and all things social media. As each celebrity begins the journey down the purple carpet, they will make their pick for the Classic, pose for the Phantom Camera to showcase their Breeders’ Cup weekend fashion, and stop to chat with Britney Eurton and Nick Luck for broadcast and digital interviews.
NBC’s Breeders’ Cup coverage will be produced by Billy Matthews and Pierre Moossa. NBCSN coverage will be produced by Jack Felling and directed by Kaare Numme.
NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app – NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs – will stream coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Classic. The NBC Sports app will stream coverage via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value to their subscription service, and making high-quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. Powered by Playmaker Media, the NBC Sports app is available on Apple iOS, Android and select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Win10, and Xbox.
A LOOK AT 45-TO-1 SHOT BREEDERS’ CUP CLASSIC QUALIFIER DISCREET LOVER & HIS CONNECTIONS
Mike Tirico narrates a feature on unlikely Breeders’ Cup Classic entrant Discreet Lover — Uriah St. Lewis’s $10,000 horse, who secured an automatic berth into the Classic with his first Grade 1 victory (as a 45-to-1 long shot) at the Jockey Club Gold Cup in September.
2018 BREEDERS’ CUP BETTING CHALLENGE: Fans can also follow Eddie Olczyk as he competes in the 2018 Breeders’ Cup Betting Challenge (BCBC), thoroughbred racing’s biggest live-money handicapping tournament. If Olczyk, who won the 2018 Pegasus World Cup Betting Championship earlier this year, wins the 2018 BCBC, one lucky sweepstakes entrant will also win $1 million, and Breeders’ Cup Charities will award another $1 million to charity. For more information, click here.
BREEDERS’ CUP WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS: The Breeders’ Cup, thoroughbred racing’s most prestigious global racing event, consists of 14 races (13 Grade 1 events) held over two days with $30 million in purses and awards at stake. The culminating event of the Breeders’ Cup, the Breeders’ Cup Classic, is contested at 1 ¼ miles on the main track, for 3-year-olds and older.
Breeders’ Cup Limited administers the Breeders’ Cup World Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships. The Breeders’ Cup also administers the Breeders’ Cup Challenge qualifying series, which provides automatic starting positions into the Championships races. Breeders’ Cup press releases appear on the Breeders’ Cup Web site, www.breederscup.com. You can also follow the Breeders’ Cup on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
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 the NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown.
-NBC SPORTS GROUP-