June 14, 2021

World Champions

Driving Sport Excellence

NBC’s Steve Kornacki joins horse racing broadcast

3 min read

BALTIMORE – Underneath the Pimlico Race Course grandstand, a man in his signature khakis, button-down shirt and tie is breaking down numbers.

The task remains mostly the same for NBC’s Steve Kornacki. But a new role will have him spending more time on the network’s marquee sports properties, including Sunday Night Football and Triple Crown horse racing.

“I’d be watching anyway,” Kornacki told USA TODAY Sports after a TV appearance prior to the 146th Preakness Stakes. “I watch it every year. to actually see how it’s done, work with these guys – pretty cool.”

In November, after Kornacki rose to social media fame as the presidential election took days to be called, the MSNBC political analyst received a call from the NBC Sports bosses for a shot on “Football Night in America.”

This summer, he’ll be involved in Olympic coverage. He’s not exactly sure how that will look yet, but a few ideas are being fleshed out.

At the track, Kornacki’s angle is gambling. In one segment Saturday, he listed longshot horses that hadn’t raced at the Kentucky Derby prior to the Preakness that placed in the top three or four to be factors in trifectas or superfectas.

Two Saturdays ago, he watched noted high-roller Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale place part of his $2.4 million Kentucky Derby bet in a $100,000 cash installment at a Churchill Downs betting window.

In that moment, it became his job to explain how that affected the odds of other horses.

“Then you start looking at the numbers behind it,” Kornacki said, “and that was what I was able to try and do on the air, is like, ‘OK, this is actually affecting the value (the viewers) are going to get out of the race.’”

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