NBC Sports horse racing handicapper Bob Neumeier watched General a Rod finish an impressive third at the Florida Derby on March 29.
Neumeier believes General a Rod, which was purchased earlier this week by Duanesburg’s Don Lucarelli and Jack Wolf of Starlight Racing, could be a player in today’s Kentucky Derby.
NBC will televise the Kentucky Derby starting at 4 p.m. It can be seen in the Capital Region on NBC13 (WNYT).
General a Rod is going off at 15-1. He will be coming out of the eighth post position.
“General a Rod was ridden wide that day,” Neumeier said of the horse’s performance at the Florida Derby. “He finished a decent third. I think he’s kind of flying under the radar. He’s one of those horses that I would group into that two-, three-, four-, five-horse underneath crowd. It wouldn’t surprise me if he went off in the neighborhood of 15- to 20-1.
“I think General a Rod, for the value bettors out there, is an excellent play.”
Lucarelli has another horse in the Kentucky Derby with Intense Holiday. He will break from No. 16 and is 8-1 on the morning line.
“Intense Holiday is training great,” said Mike Battaglia, NBC’s other horse racing handicapper. “I’ve heard nothing but good things about Intense Holiday.”
Battaglia is less impressed with General a Rod.
“He might be compromised,” Battaglia said. “He’s been running at Gulfstream [Park]. He’s another one of these speed horses, though. He’s got tactical speed. I don’t know if he can take that too far off of the pace, and I don’t know if he can keep up with the early runners. Of those two, Intense Holiday is better.”
Bob Costas and Tom Hammond will co-host the Derby. Also on the broadcast are Battaglia and Neumeier; analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey; NBCSN host/NBC reporter Laffit Pincay III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers, and Jay Privman; and race caller Larry Collmus. Also making their NBC Sports Group debuts are Carolyn Manno, Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski.
Kentucky Derby day coverage starts at noon with the undercard races on NBCSN.
WGY-AM (810) and WGY-FM (103.1) will be the radio home of the Triple Crown this season.
They will carry the Horse Racing Radio Network’s coverage of the Kentucky Derby starting at 5 p.m. Coverage will be hosted by Mike Penna, Kurt Becker, Sean Clancy, Chad Summers and trainer William Bradley, with Molly Jo Rosen providing red-carpet celebrity interviews.
WGY will also have the Preakness Stakes May 17 and the Belmont Stakes June 7.