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ESPN Horse Racing

The best and worst of Derby TV
By Jay Cronley
Special to ESPN.com


Here are the memorable moments of the 2004 Kentucky Derby as seen on television.

Nick Zito's hat
Many of the women looked like they were wearing Frisbees, small awnings or lampshades on their heads.

Zito's hat was the class of the field.

He looked like he was on his way to tell Tony Sporano where to get off.

Jessica Simpson
Singers Jessica Simpson and husband Nick Lachey at Saturday's Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs.
Nick Lachey
Jessica Simpson's husband, that's the one.

In the early coverage on ESPN, he said he liked Lion Gate.

Later after he had freshened up for NBC, somebody asked where his wife was and he said she was off spending his money.

Well then, she must have been betting five to show.

A hush falls over the bluebloods
A Pennsylvania-bred takes the lead coming for home and draws away to win for laughs.

A Pennsylvania-bred!

What's next?

A former caddy wins the Masters?

Hank Goldberg's collar
In a business too full of measured affectedness, it's always good to see one side of a famed handicapper's collar sticking straight out.

It looks real and makes you listen up.

Carson Daly's outfit
He appeared to have just come from giving a matinee performance of Nicely Nicely over at the local junior college.

Randy Moss
In a sports world overflowing with self-proclaimed experts afraid to make a pick, ESPN's lead horse handicapper has opened daylight over the competition.

ESPN2's morning-show sofa
This piece of furniture was sort of purple and blue checked.

It looked somebody found it out behind one of the barns.

Kenny Mayne
Flip on the sports anywhere from Cocklebur, Nebr., to LA and chances are you'll find somebody trying to be funny.

This is bad marketing.

Sports fans like sports.

It's the viewers of the news who could use some comic relief.

Being funny is not something you can learn, it's natural.

I can think of one consistently funny person doing sports, Kenny Mayne.

Overhead blimp shots of races
This was used on the early races at Churchill on ESPN and is one of the most dramatic shots in all of sports.

Mike Battaglia's pick
The famous oddsmaker-handicapper picked Friends Lake to win.

Must have been all the water.

The problem there was that Friends Lake was the first horse to be loaded into the gate and by the time it opened, his mind must have been daydreaming of a dry place because he ran up the track and almost around the corner.

Tapit's trainer pokes holes in the mud before the race
Shouldn't somebody be notified?

The visuals during the playing of My Old Kentucky Home
Basically it was hats and bozos with beer.

I recall more emotional seventh-inning stretches.

The best price
Why didn't somebody tell me Lion Heart would pay $8.20 to show?

This was far and away the easiest take of the day.





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