Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Kentucky Derby Pre Race Coverage Ideas

About now NBC is mulling over story lines to run during the pre-race coverage of The Kentucky Derby.

In 2009 NBC had a piece on Trainer Larry Jones and Eight Belles as well as a feature piece on trainer Bob Baffert and his attempt to win his fourth Derby with Pioneerof the Nile (finished 2nd).

Television always loves the underdog story and last year NBC decided to focus on the one-horse barn of former high school principal Tom McCarthy with General Quarters, who he claimed for the bargain-basement price of $20,000. There was no feel good ending as GQ finished 10th.

It is always a calculated gamble as to what horses to feature, especially when you have a 20 horse field. 50-1 long shot winner Mine That Bird who paid $103.20 was not featured at all in any pre-race feature pieces.

One thing NBC can do for 2010 is just edit the piece they run every year on Trainer Todd Pletcher. This year the Toddster may have as many as 6 horses entering the Gate at Churchill. He had 5 in 2007 and they finished 6th, 8th, 9th, 18th and 20th (last). Here is a question for you-Will the 5 or 6 horses entered by Pletcher in 2010 average a finish higher than his 5 starters in 2007 which finished in an average of 12th place?

Last year NBC did a piece on Pletcher's attempt to break his 0-for-21 Derby slump with Dunkirk. He finished 11th.


Tony said...

I will give him Eskendreya a top 3 finish and an average of 10th place, figuring the others will lag in the bottom 10

Vincent said...

I was on-hand and standing on the rail at the finish line last year at Gulfstream Park for the Florida Derby. Dunkirk's 2nd place finish to Quality Road was a phenomenal effort. (side note: if QR can keep focused, and we get a fast track at Churchill this fall for the Breeder's Cup, he should win pulling away). I've written on this before, but the bottom line is, Dunkirk's flourishing move around the far turn was absolutely stunning. After QR suffered an injury, leaving him out of the Derby 20, I became a huge backer of Dunkirk at the Ky Derby. Needless to say, I was duped. The fact that such a phenomenal talent like Dunkirk was a non-factor in last year's Derby leads me to believe Pletcher is Derby cursed. I'm staying away from Esky this year.