NBC Sports To Send American Pharoah Off in Grand Style at Breeders’ Cup
With the first Triple Crown winner in 37 years leading the field, it’s no surprise that NBC Sports Group is going all out with its coverage of the Breeders’ Cup Classic this weekend. With big viewership expected for American Pharoah’s attempt to win the first-ever Grand Slam in his final race, NBC Sports is pulling out all the stops for its coverage of the 32nd Breeders’ Cup this weekend at Keeneland in Lexington, KY.
“Our [equipment] levels have increased to capture this year’s Classic and all of the Breeders’ Cup races, and, obviously, Pharoah is a functional part of that,” says Coordinating Producer Rob Hyland. “We’re all ready for this event. We’ve got every angle of the Classic covered, and we’re excited for this weekend to get started.”
NBC will deploy a total of 35 cameras on Saturday and center its production in NEP’s ND4 mobile unit (A, B, and C units). It will dedicate an RF handheld camera to cover American Pharoah all day on Saturday, following his every move: from the barn to the holding-assembly barn to the paddock and, finally, to the track. In addition, NBC will position two ultra-slo-mo cameras and a super-slo-mo on the finish line, which is standard for NBC’s Triple Crown coverage but is new this year for the Breeders’ Cup. Other camera highlights include aerial coverage for all races on Saturday, a tower camera 100 ft. in the air to capture the horses going around Turn 2 — similar to the position NBC deploys at Triple Crown races.
This year also marks the Breeders’ Cup’s first-ever appearance at the legendary Keeneland Race Course, and NBC plans to highlight all the tradition-rich facility.
“In terms of the track and its nooks and crannies, we will showcase all that makes Keeneland so special, including essentially a red stop sign on the alternate finish line to alert the jocks that certain races end on that finish line,” says Hyland. “We will capture all of the races with a very robust camera complement.”
Of course, there is much more to the Breeders’ Cup than just Saturday’s Classic: NBCSN provided live coverage of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships on Wednesday and handicapping special Betting the Breeders’ Cup and continues today at 3 p.m. ET, culminating with a three-hour show tomorrow at 1 p.m. Coverage will feature many of the Peacock’s familiar horseracing faces: host Tom Hammond, Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey (a 15-time Breeders’ Cup winner, including five victories in the Classic), veteran horse-racing analyst Randy Moss, contributing analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk, and race caller Larry Collmus.