Kristin Chenoweth and Toni Braxton Perform at Breeder's Cup Classic; Andrew Lloyd Webber's Horse to Compete Today
The 30th running of the Breeders' Cup Classic, set for today and tomorrow, November 1 and 2, is turning out to be a gathering place for Broadway talent at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif.
Featured in the weekend's events will be Emmy and Tony Award-winning star of stage and screen Kristin Chenoweth, set to perform the Breeders' Cup anthem "The Best is Yet to Come" as the horses come out on the track for the running of the $5,000,000 Breeders' Cup Classic. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's horse The Fugue will also be competing in the races. Plus, six-time Grammy Award winner Toni Braxton (Broadway's upcoming After Midnight) will sing the national anthem on Saturday.
Live NBC Sports Group coverage of the Breeders' Cup World Championships begins tonight, November 1, from 4-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, continues on Saturday, November 2, from 3:30-8 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and culminates with the live Primetime broadcast of the Breeders' Cup Classic, Saturday, November 2, 8-9 p.m. ET on NBC.
The NBC Sports Group coverage of the Breeders' Cup will feature host Tom Hammond, whose first-ever assignment for NBC was as a reporter on the network's inaugural Breeders' Cup broadcast in 1984. He is joined by Hall-of-Fame jockey Jerry Bailey, who has 15 Breeders' Cup wins, including five wins in the Breeders' Cup Classic; veteran horse racing analyst Randy Moss; contributing analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; host/reporter Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny Rice, Donna Brothers, Jay Privman and Nick Luck, who is making his NBC Sports Group debut. NBC's Triple Crown race caller Larry Collmus will call all of the Breeders' Cup races.
Additionally, Access Hollywood's Billy Bush will host the first half hour of the Primetime show, which will focus on the spectacle and scene of the Breeders' Cup, as well as contributing features and handling celebrity interviews. E! News' Catt Sadler will contribute celebrity interviews and reports from the Breeders' Cup "purple carpet."
NBC Sports Group's Breeders' Cup coverage will be produced by Rob Hyland, producer of NBC's Triple Crown coverage, and a veteran of the network's horse racing coverage since 2001, and directed by Jeff Simon. The coverage on NBCSN will be produced by Billy Matthews. The executive producer of NBC Sports and NBCSN is Sam Flood, who has produced 11 Triple Crown races for the network.
The Breeders' Cup, thoroughbred racing's most prestigious global racing event, consists of 14 races held over two-days with $27 million in purses and awards at stake. The culminating event of the Breeders' Cup, the Breeders' Cup Classic, is contested at 1 miles on the main track, for 3-year-olds and older, and is often the determining race for the coveted Horse of the Year title. Over the years, 11 Classic winners have been voted Horse of the Year. In 2009 at Santa Anita Park, the great racemare Zenyatta became the first female to ever win the Classic.