HASH(0x292cf20)

Tirico takes over for Hammond on NBC’s horse racing coverage

Tirico takes over for Hammond on NBC's horse racing coverage

Mike Tirico is taking the reins from Tom Hammond as a host of NBC’s Triple Crown horse racing coverage.

Tirico adds the job to his recently announced duties as host of the network’s prime-time Olympics coverage starting next winter in South Korea.

Hammond has accepted a reduced role after covering racing for more than 30 years at the network. He turns 73 on May 10.

He will host a 30-minute special called “My Kentucky Home” on NBCSN during the first week in May. Hammond is a native of Lexington, Kentucky.

Hammond, who has covered a dozen Olympics, will be part of the network’s coverage of the Pyeongchang Games in February.

“As I embark on a less demanding schedule at NBC, I can rest assured that the coverage of thoroughbred racing is in good hands,” Hammond said Tuesday. “That sport is very close to my heart, so I am pleased that Mike, a highly accomplished professional, will assume the role as leader of the superb NBC horse racing team.”

Tirico will make his Triple Crown debut at the Kentucky Derby on May 6, working on the show’s main set with analysts Jerry Bailey and Randy Moss. As usual, Bob Costas will open the telecast and do pre-race interviews, an essay, and winner’s circle interviews.

Tirico will work the Preakness on May 20 and the Belmont on June 10.

The 50-year-old broadcaster joined Hammond for his first horse racing assignment last fall during NBC’s coverage of the Breeders’ Cup.

“Tom’s professionalism, presence and passion for the sport enhanced Triple Crown viewing for so many of us over the years,” Tirico said. “He perfectly set the tone, and in the process set the standard for this role.”

Hammond is also giving up his anchor position on the Breeders’ Cup, in which he had participated since the event began in 1984. A network spokesman says no decision has yet been made on his replacement. However, it’s possible Tirico could be freed from his NFL broadcasting duties to cover the event Nov. 3-4 at Del Mar near San Diego.

Beth Harris, The Associated Press

Just Posted

Beauty Day spreads ‘brightness’ at Our Place

Volunteer hairdressers, estheticians, even a tarot card reader took part in the Victoria event

Victoria Guard Commander leads group of snowmen after ceremony cancelled

Lt.-Cmdr. Michael Irwin wasn’t going to let a bit of snow strip him of his duties

Number of adults living with parents has doubled since 1995

9 per cent of the adult population living with one or more parent

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Plecas won’t run in next election if B.C. legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Man in Vancouver Island hotel shooting pleads guilty to second-degree murder

Brandon Tyler Woody, from Victoria, to be sentenced in late March in B.C. Supreme Court

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Snow turns to slush, rain as it warms up across B.C.’s south coast

Some areas are already covered by more than half a metre of snow following three separate storms

Most Read