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NBC’s Derby coverage to get closer with backstretch camera

139th Kentucky Derby

LOUISVILLE, KY - MAY 04: Horses race along the muddy backstretch during an undercard race prior to the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 4, 2013 in Louisville, Kentucky. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) Kentucky Derby viewers will be able to follow horses closer on the backstretch when NBC Sports introduces a new camera angle for the marquee event in horse racing’s Triple Crown.

Coverage of Saturday’s 144th Run for the Roses at Churchill Downs will include views from a camera suspended above the backstretch that will pan the 20-horse field. Similar to what the network uses in NASCAR broadcasts, the camera travels up to 80 mph.
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“This camera will bring the viewer much closer to the track on the backstretch, providing a new perspective alongside the action and showcasing the speed of the horses,” said NBC Sports coordinating producer Rob Hyland. “With the largest field (up to 20 horses) in racing, we expect that this camera will provide a unique look at the horses and their jockeys as they position themselves heading into the final turn.”

NBC will use at least 50 cameras for the Derby and provide an aerial angle of the race, as part of its record live five-hour Kentucky Derby Day telecast. The network will present more than 28 hours of Triple Crown coverage, beginning with the Kentucky Derby Draw on Tuesday.