The day before a big Triple Crown prep race is always a heady affair; from a track perspective, there are tons of details to work out, last minute reservations to take, and press releases to send out. From a broadcast perspective (and yours truly is going to help NBC Sport Network integrate your tweets into the show) there are rehearsals to do, gear to set up, production meetings to attend and story lines to anticipate. Plus there’s just the overall anticipation of a great day of racing ahead of you. After all, last year’s winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, I’ll Have Another, came out of the Santa Anita Derby.
But to me, the best way to prepare for a big day at the races is to help people see exactly how much fun a day at the track really is. There are so many amazing sights and sounds at Santa Anita Park, and for new fans of racing it’s the perfect track to get in the game. For example, how beautiful are these vistas?
If it’s your first time at Santa Anita, here’s what you need to know about where to watch the races. The Grandstand is a great place to see all of the action. You can stand right next to the finish line to catch the close finishes, and there are plenty of places to grab food and drinks on the fly.
You can also see the cool action on-track, like jockeys weighing in after a race.
You can also hang out by the paddock and watch the horses being saddled before the race and watch trainers and owners talk strategy with the jockeys. Always cool, and it’s great to get an up-close-and-personal look at the horses before they go to the track.
But, really, no matter where you go at Santa Anita for the Derby, you’re guaranteed a beautiful day and a fun time at one of the most picturesque tracks in the nation.
Another aspect of the build-up to the Santa Anita Derby is catching up with the journalists and TV personalities interviewing – and being interviewed - about the day to come. Here’s the Louisville Courier-Journal’s Jennie Rees talking about the big race:
And HRTV’s Zoe Cadman (a former jockey, so she’s tiny) interviewing trainer Gary Mandella, who is a very tall guy. He very obligingly kneeled down for the entire interview, which was pretty funny.
And here are NBC’s on-air talent Laffit Pincay III and Randy Moss gearing up for Saturday’s broadcast.
We’re so looking forward to the Santa Anita Derby action, and if you can’t get out to the races, be sure to tune in on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET. Here’s a handy-dandy channel finder so you can watch the Wood Memorial and Santa Anita Derby from the comfort of home: http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/30092015/ns/sports/
Thanks for stopping by, and I’ll be back with another photoblog tomorrow recapping the Santa Anita Derby!