Live from Santa Anita, it's Saturday night!
The Breeders' Cup is ready for prime time.
OK, not all of it. Just the final race, the Classic. The other 14 races that make up the Cup will be on the NBC Sports Network over the course of the two-day event. But the last race, the big one, will be shown live on NBC at 8 p.m. ET Saturday night. The ponies should hit the post just after the bottom half of the hour. (Don't tell NBC I told you that.)
The Breeders' Cup had been on ESPN since 2006, but NBC (who started broadcasting the Cup in 1984) reacquired the broadcast rights to the Cup. This means NBC has a near-monopoly on televising high-profile Thoroughbred racing, since the Peacock also holds the broadcast rights to horse racing's three Triple Crown races: the Belmont Stakes, the Preakness Stakes and the Kentucky Derby.
Tom Hammond, who hosted the initial Breeders' Cup broadcast for NBC and then never left, will resume as the event's on-air host.
NBC will be putting 14 of the 15 races on the NBC Sports Network. Six of them were run yesterday, with nine more on the docket for today. Here's the basics, from About.com:
- Breeders' Cup Saturday, 3:30-8:00PM, NBC Sports Network
- Breeders' Cup Classic, 8:00-9:00PM, NBC
And the details, from the Cup's official site (note all times are Pacific; add one hour for Mountain, two for Central and three for Eastern):
- 5:30 PM Classic, $5,000,000 purse, 1 1/4 miles
- 4:40 PM Mile, $2,000,000 purse, 1 mile
- 3:58 PM Xpressbet Sprint, $1,500,000 purse, 6 Furlongs
- 3:18 PM Turf, $3,000,000 purse, 1 1/2 miles
- 2:36 PM Grey Goose Juvenile, $2,000,000 purse, 1 1/16 miles
- 1:57 PM Turf Sprint, $1,000,000 purse, 6.5 Furlongs
- 1:14 PM Dirt Mile, $1,000,000 purse, 1 Mile
- 12:35 PM Filly & Mare Sprint, $1,000,000 purse, 7 Furlongs
- 11:50 AM Juvenile Turf, $1,000,000 purse, 1 Mile
Check your local listings to find the NBC Sports Network. If you can't find it, check your local listings for an OTB. ("OTB," of course, is an acronym for "Establishment dedicated to the recreational watching of horse racing for lawful entertainment purposes only.")