USUALLY AT 4 o'clock in the afternoon, the televisions in the

Daily News

Sports Department are either fixed on one of the local newscasts, whatever Comcast SportsNet is showing or the horse racing channel if a buddy of ours has passed along a hot tip.

In honor of Oprah Winfrey's final show yesterday, we went with the horse racing.

Even if she wasn't on our TVs all these years, the queen of talk's 25-year run is remarkable and laudable. Just think of the sports landscape when Oprah's Show debuted on Sept. 8, 1986.

* Bill Buckner was a well-regarded major-league hitter about to become an unfortunate punchline.

* Norman Braman owned the Eagles while the president and CEO of the Chestnut Hill Productions film company was a guy named Jeff Lurie.

* Evan Turner, James van Riemsdyk, Claude Giroux, Domonic Brown, Shady McCoy and DeSean Jackson weren't born yet.

* Harry and Whitey were working their magic in the Phillies' booth.

* Ron Hextall and Jamie Moyer were rookies and Ron Jaworski was sharing the Eagles' quarterback job with second-year hot shot Randall Cunningham.

* JFK Stadium was still hosting concerts and the Wells Fargo Center, Citizens Bank Park and Lincoln Financial Field were years away.

* Dominique Wilkins was the NBA's reigning scoring champ and Michael Jordan still hadn't won a playoff series.

* Tiger Woods was 10 years old and Jack Nicklaus had just won his 18th major some 5 months earlier.

One last piece of useless information: Oprah's name is actually "Orpah." She was named for an Old Testament character, but changed it because it was constantly mispronounced.

By the way, a horse named "Casa O" is running in the sixth race at Hollywood Park this afternoon (3:35 p.m. post). Hmmm . . . Anybody seen the remote? *

- Ed Barkowitz

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