NBC's coverage of the Preakness Stakes starts at 4:30 p.m. today, and it leads off with an outstanding look at the Kentucky-Derby-winning horse, Super Saver, and the team that surrounds him.
Even if you are only slightly interested in horse racing (I am no fan), I predict you will be impressed and caught up in this look back at the Derby from Emmy-Award-winners Rob Hyland and Jack Felling. The feature they did last year on Derby winner Mine That Bird won the Eclipse Award for best television feature.
The portion of the profile that tracks jockey Calvin Borel is biography done as well as I have ever seen it done on sports TV. From his Cajun roots, to his "education" on horseback, this mini-biography of the jockey instantly pulled me into his highly-charged emotional life. And I have to admit, when the piece started, I could not have cared less about Borel -- despite all his success.
NBC coverage is scheduled to run from 4:30 to 6:30 on WBAL in Baltimore, and will feature Bob Costas. NBC Sports does a better job than anyone on TV of bringing casual and non-fans into the TV tent for big sporting events, and this this look at Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver and the team that surrounds him is evidence of the network's excellence in that regard. Of course, I cannot predict how the live coverage will go, but this opening profile is an absolute winner.
Here's a bit of NBC's press release on the opening profile of Super Saver. (The network made a rough cut of the look at Super Saver available to the "Sun" for screening.)