Sports Media Notes

The attraction of this year's Kentucky Derby is the wide-open field that will compete in tomorrow's Run for the Roses, says NBC analyst

Gary Stevens


When asked about the chances of Hard Spun, the Delaware Park-based colt foaled at Brushwood Stable in Malvern, Stevens didn't go out on a limb.

"Hard Spun is one of about 10 horses I could put in the winner's circle," Stevens said during a conference call yesterday.

Stevens, however, saw a small red flag in Hard Spun's five-furlong workout on Monday in a blistering 57.60 seconds, the fastest Derby-week workout at this distance since 1973.

"I didn't like the 57 and 3 [fifths] work," Stevens said. "I don't care what they say, it will take a little bit of a toll."

The post time for the Kentucky Derby is 6:04 p.m. NBC had better hope that the horses don't get overrun by hockey players.

NBC will air the NHL playoff game between San Jose and Detroit beginning at 2 p.m. Then, at 4:30, NBC will air its half-hour Kentucky Derby Red Carpet Special, followed by pre-race coverage at 5.

What happens if the NHL game goes into overtime? Or double or triple overtime?

NBC officials said they have a contingency plan, but they wouldn't say anything about it other than producer Sam Flood's statement yesterday that "the Kentucky Derby will be on NBC."

Last Sunday, the NBC documentary, Barbaro: A Nation's Horse, never aired because of a double-overtime playoff game between the Buffalo Sabres and the New York Rangers. The documentary will be shown tomorrow night at 8.

There can be no re-airing of the 133d Kentucky Derby, so there might be more than a few NBC executives hoping the hockey game ends in regulation.

Draft's draw

The NFL draft had the interest to match the hype. ESPN's eight hours of first-day draft coverage on Saturday drew a 4.3 rating, totaling 4,011,000 households. The first 4.5 hours of the draft delivered a 5.0 rating.

On Sunday, ESPN drew a 1.6 rating for its more than seven hours of coverage.

The NFL Network, which also televised the draft live, had a 0.8 rating for Saturday's telecast (312,000 households) and a 0.4 rating for Sunday. Each rating point on the NFL Network is worth about 400,000 households.


The sports weekend will conclude with the Phillies making a nationally televised appearance on ESPN's

Sunday Night Baseball

, at 8:05. The Phillies will visit red-hot

Barry Bonds

and the San Francisco Giants.

Jon Miller and Joe Morgan will be in the booth, with Peter Gammons serving as reporter.

- Marc Narducci