LOUISVILLE, Ky. (NBC) – Among the features on NBC’s Kentucky Derby coverage on Saturday, May 6:
- Since the Kentucky Derby was first nationally broadcast on television in 1952, just eight men have called the race for U.S. viewers. Bob Costas hosts a discussion with the past four: Dave Johnson (1978-80; 1987-2000), Mike Battaglia (1981-86), Tom Durkin (2001-10), and Larry Collmus (2011-present).
- The story of Gunnevera trainer Antonio Sano, the leading trainer in the history of Venezuelan racing, who fled the country after being taken hostage for 36 days in 2009.
- A feature about Irish War Cry jockey Rajiv Maragh, who is less than two years removed from a terrifying spill at Belmont Park that left him with multiple spinal fractures and a punctured lung.
- Girvin trainer Joe Sharp started his own stable just three years ago, and it didn’t take him long to reach the Kentucky Derby. A key part of his training team is wife Rosie Napravnik, a former Kentucky Derby jockey who exercises the horses in the morning. Napravnik retired from competitive racing in 2014 to focus on raising their family.
- Jason Day, winner of THE PLAYERS Championship in 2016, met up with Hall of Fame jockey and NBC Sports analyst Jerry Bailey at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., on the famous par-3 17th hole. Day hit 20 golf balls representing the 20-horse Derby field, with the notion that the closest to the pin would forecast Day’s winning pick. The feature, including Day’s pick, will be included in Saturday’s telecast.
COMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Group’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby features hosts Bob Costas, a 27-time Emmy Award-winner, and Mike Tirico, in his first Triple Crown assignment; analysts Randy Moss and Jerry Bailey, the Hall of Fame jockey and two-time Kentucky Derby winner; NBCSN host Krista Voda; analysts/handicappers Bob Neumeier and Eddie Olczyk; reporters Donna Brothers, Carolyn Manno, Laffit Pincay, III, and Kenny Rice; and race caller Larry Collmus. NBC Newsweather anchor and correspondent Dylan Dreyer makes her NBC Sports Group debut as a lifestyle correspondent; andNBC Sports Group’s NASCAR features reporter Rutledge Wood returns to provide a mix of features and social media content.
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 Kentucky Derby 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 Pierre Moossa. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN is Sam Flood, who has produced 14 Triple Crown races for the network.
In addition, Tom Hammond will host the special 30-minute My Kentucky Home, in which he takes a look at how Kentucky came to be the home of thoroughbred racing. For a preview, click here. The special debuts on NBCSN this Wednesday, May 3, at 12:30 a.m. ET following Tuesday night’s St. Louis-Nashville Stanley Cup Playoff game. The special will encore on NBCSN Wednesday at 5 p.m. ET, this Thursday at 3:30 p.m. ET, following Friday night’s Edmonton-Anaheim Stanley Cup Playoff game, and within NBCSN’s live coverage on Saturday.
MORE THAN 28 HOURS OF TRIPLE CROWN COVERAGE: NBC Sports Group will present more than 28 hours of Triple Crown coverage this season from Churchill Downs, Pimlico and Belmont Park, including live racing from all three tracks prior to the Triple Crown races. This marks the seventh consecutive year that all three Triple Crown races will air on NBC.