Behind the Broadcast: Pincay III took road less traveled

Two things held back Laffit Pincay III from having a career in horse racing as a jockey — his size a

Two things held back Laffit Pincay III from having a career in horse racing as a jockey — his size and his father, the great Laffit Pincay Jr.

However, it didn’t prevent Pincay III from having a career covering the sport.

Pincay III will host NBC’S coverage of the Travers Stakes today from Saratoga Race Course. The race, along with the King’s Bishop Stakes, will be seen at 5 p.m. on NBC13 and NBC13 HD.

Pincay has been a horse racing analyst for Horse Racing TV since the network’s inception in 2002. He has also been a sports anchor in New York at News 12 on Long Island, and also in California.

With his father amassing 9,530 career victories in his career, one would have thought that Pincay III would have followed in his father’s footsteps. And his grandfather was also a jockey.

But there wouldn’t be a riding career for Pincay III.

“My dad’s 5-1, 115,” Pincay III said during an interview Wednesday. “I’m 5-8, 160. That was never a thought.

“Also, even if I was built to be a rider, my father, considering what a dangerous profession he was in, he was a little overprotective when it came to that sort of thing. I don’t know if he would have allowed my sister, myself, my little brother near horses if that was something we wanted to do, knowing what a demanding profession it is and how taxing it is emotionally, physically and how dangerous it really is.”

But that didn’t mean Pincay III was going to completely stay away from he sport, even if it meant taking a different route to participating in the sport.

That would be the broadcasting angle.

“In my teenage years, I found myself going to the race track,” Pincay III said. “[I] wasn’t interested in learning how to read a racing form or how to gamble, but finding some of the intrigue in some of these big race days my father was riding in. The more I learned about it, the more you get this stuff in your blood, and it’s hard to get out.”

Pincay III got out video tapes of his father’s races and analyzed them.

“I watched 20 to 30 years of VHS tapes of races,” Pincay III said. “When I ran out of them, I got all of his beta [tapes], converted those to VHS and watched those. I kind of taught myself the sport, along with him, through watching coverage of some of these bigger events, and not just races, but how they were covered.

“Somewhere along the line, it kind of clicked that I’m not going to be a trainer because I’m not waking up at four in the morning the rest of my life. I’m not small enough to be a rider. I’m not going to own race horses. I wanted to be involved, and television seemed to fit.”

There is a tie between Pincay III and his dad at Saratoga. His dad was involved in a memorable Travers in 1978. He rode Affirmed to victory over rival Alydar. However, Affirmed was ruled to have cut off Alydar, and Alydar was awarded the win, with Affirmed dropping to second.

“I’ve asked my father if there is one race that he regretted more than any other, and if he could have one of them back,” Pincay III said. “He’s quick to respond that he necessarily wouldn’t do anything different, but he had never felt worse after a horse race than the ’78 Travers.

“The fact that the first show I’m doing for NBC is the Travers 33 years later, there’s a certain amount of irony there. I’m really looking forward to it.”

Pincay III will be joined on the broadcast by Gary Stevens, hand­icapper Mike Battaglia and reporter Donna Brothers. Tom Durkin will call the race.

The coverage will include a feature story on owner Mike Repole, who saddles Jim Dandy winner Stay Thirsty in the Travers and 2010 2-year-old champ­ion Uncle Mo in the King’s Bishop. This is Uncle Mo’s first race since the Wood Memorial.

WTMM-FM (104.5) will have radio coverage of the Travers Stakes starting at 5 p.m.

MSG Plus will have same-day taped coverage of the Ballerina Stakes at 6 p.m.

Football schedules

It’s that time of year again for your comprehensive look at college football games that will be televised over the next several days.

A couple of notes for this

season. The channel formerly known as CBS College Sports is now CBS Sports Network, and will be listed as CBSN. The Big Ten Network shortened its name to BTN.

Announcers, in order of play-by-play, analyst and sideline reporters, are in parentheses. Announcing pairings and game broadcasts are subject to change.


ESPNU and ESPNU HD — Murray State at Louisville, 6 p.m.; Kentucky vs. Western Kentucky, 9:15 p.m.

Fox College Sports Atlantic — St. Cloud State at California (Pa.), 7.

ESPN and ESPN HD — UNLV at Wisconsin, 8 p.m. (Rece Davis/Craig Palmer and Craig James/Jenn Brown).

MSG Plus and MSG Plus HD — Mississippi State at Memphis, 8 p.m. (Ron Thulin/JC Pearson/Jeremy Bloom).

CBSN and CBSN HD — Massachusetts at Holy Cross, 8 p.m. (James Bates/Aaron Taylor/Brooke Collins).

Fox College Sports Central — Drake at North Dakota, 8.

Fox College Sports Pacific — UC Davis at Arizona State, 8.


ESPN and ESPN HD — Texas Christian at Baylor, 8 p.m. (Joe Tessitore/Rod Gilmore).

BTN and BTN HD — Youngstown State at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. (Tom Hart/Derek Rackley/Lisa Byington).

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