Jim Williams: Two days of coverage for the Preakness, Baltimore's jewel

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Sports,Jim Williams

NBC and the NBC Sports Network have taken over Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore for extensive coverage of the 138th running of the Preakness Stakes, the middle jewel of the Triple Crown. There will be no shortage of coverage of the Kentucky Derby winner Orb, who many think is a legitimate Triple Crown threat.

On Friday and Saturday, there will be six and a half hours of horse racing action broadcast on the two networks. The Friday coverage will begin at 4 p.m. on NBC Sports Network and will feature the live broadcast of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes.

On Saturday, things will begin at 2:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Network with Preakness Stakes on Saturday. They will carry the early races from Pimlico, and at 4:30 p.m., things will move over to NBC for coverage of the Preakness Stakes itself.

The Preakness Post-Race Show will air at 6:30 p.m. back over on NBC Sports Network.

Meanwhile, those wishing to hear race on radio can follow the action locally on WSPZ-AM 570 in Washington starting at 5 p.m. The race will air on broadband on the NBC Sports Live Extra platform.

NBC handicapper Mike Battaglia offered me his thoughts on Orb:

"What makes him so attractive as a Triple Crown candidate is that he is not a one-dimensional horse. You have to be more than a one-dimensional horse to win the Triple Crown, and he's proven that already. The pace scenario is not going to be as important to me in the Preakness, because I think he can adapt to anything. What I like so much about Orb is how tactical he is. In the Florida Derby, when the pace was slow, he was right there, just off the pack, made his move, and won impressively. When the pace is fast, like in the Kentucky Derby, he can stay back and then make his move."

Battaglia on who might challenge Orb in the Preakness:

"Will Take Charge was flying in the Kentucky Derby. He was making a move right next to Orb and Verrazano was getting tired. Verrazano stopped, ducked out right in front of Will Take Charge, and Jon Court had to check up Will Take Charge. This horse was really making a nice late run and he got absolutely slaughtered. I think he's a nice long-shot possibility."

Examiner columnist Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. Follow him on Twitter @wordmandc.

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