Conference Call Replay: Breeders’ Cup on ABC, ESPN & ESPN2 Nov. 5-6

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Conference Call Replay: Breeders’ Cup on ABC, ESPN & ESPN2 Nov. 5-6


ESPN conducted a media conference call Wednesday, Nov. 3, to preview the 27th running of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships from Churchill Downs in Louisville, Ky., Nov. 5-6 on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 with analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss and ESPN vice president of studio productions Mike McQuade. ESPN’s coverage will include more than nine hours of coverage dedicated to the 14 races, as both Friday and Saturday will finish under the lights for the first time in Breeders’ Cup history. Additionally, for the second year, The Breeders’ Cup has selected The V Foundation for Cancer Research as its primary beneficiary that will include on-air messaging and in-stadium text messaging to donate, as well as merchandise offerings. Details of the entire programming schedule can be viewed here, and to hear a full replay of the call click here. Select comments from the conference call:

On the new technology 4 oz. jockey cam mounted on helmets…

Bailey: This is so small it’s scary…the shot that you got was awesome, it was almost like you were riding the horse…It will be great for audience to see and it really helps the viewer get a feel for what the jockey is doing. I was even impressed!…Kudos to the jocks doing this and trainers and owners that are allowing it. It’s not invasive, but it’s new and so a little bit scary in that sense.”

Moss: “Watching that test video today was like being in the middle of the ultimate interactive video game.”

McQuade on the decision to not use the jockey cam on Mike Smith and Zenyatta during the Breeders’ Cup Classic: “We are covering the story we do not want to be the story. Therefore we have plenty of other cameras that can document this historic run. This is a way to give insight during the course of two days of what the jockey’s go through and showing off the pure speed of what goes on.”

On the two-day Breeders’ Cup Championship…

Bailey: “It’s not just a race, it’s an event, and a two-day encapsulation of the very best in every division that this sport has to offer.”

On Zenyatta’s pursuit of perfection and 20th win…

McQuade: “In sports now, there are very few moments like this that you have a chance to document…These are special moments. If the horse comes back and has another win and goes undefeated for a career, everyone will be talking about it on Sunday.” 

On Zenyatta and the pressure for perfection for her and jockey Mike Smith…

Bailey: “That’s why this is such a great sport. These athletes don’t read the press clippings. She’s not asking for a raise. She’s not asking for an extended contract. She has no idea in terms of print media what she’s getting. She does understand the attention she gets from cameras around her and people around her…I think she’s one of the unique kinds of champion thoroughbreds that actually embraces it. She plays to the camera and I think she enjoys it…In terms of Mike Smith, he’s been to this dance before. I have to give him credit for extending himself in a lot of areas…he’s the kind of guy that knows when to lock in…he will do what it takes to be focused when the time comes.”

On Zenyatta racing on dirt vs. synthetic material…

Bailey: “She’s actually run twice on dirt in her career…it wasn’t at Churchill Downs, but she won both of those races…she not only ran as well, she ran better on it, that particular year…My personal feeling that she will handle it very well, and I think she might run better on natural dirt rather than she would on synthetic, but she will still have the issue of traffic to deal with coming from last where she comes from.”

On Zenyatta’s legacy and impact on horse racing…

Moss: “It’s almost certainly going to be her final career race. The appreciation of Zenyatta is already amazingly high. The people that compete against her know how difficult it is to win 8 or 9 races in a row, let alone 19 or 20 races. The impact, it will be huge this weekend and certainly talked about forever.”

Bailey: “Nobody has amassed an 8 for 8 or 10 for 10 record right now. …Nobody will immediately take her place.”

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