National Sports Headlines from NBC Sports

How and where to watch the 2014 Belmont Stakes on NBC

NBC Sports Group Presents 16 Hours of Belmont Stakes Programming; Coverage from Belmont Park Begins Friday, June 6, at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN

TODAY, CNBC, MSNBC and The Weather Channel Live On-Site Friday; Access Hollywood and E! News to Provide Coverage

Special Documentary California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion Debuts Tomorrow at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN

NBC Sports Live Extra to Live Stream Belmont Stakes on NBC with Exclusive Camera Angles and Analysis

Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner California Chrome runs for history, aiming to become the first Triple Crown winner since Affirmed in 1978, as NBC Sports Group presents 16 hours of programming surrounding the 146th Belmont Stakes – more than double the number of hours initially scheduled.

Coverage from Belmont Park in Elmont, N.Y., begins Friday, June 6, at 5 p.m. ET on NBCSN, and culminates with the running of the 146th Belmont Stakes Saturday, June 7, at 4:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

Highlights of NBC Sports Groups’ Belmont coverage include:

  • Live coverage of every Saturday race in NBC/NBCSN telecast windows - including the first two events of the “Breeders’ Cup Challenge Series: Win & You’re In,” the Metropolitan Handicap and the Ogden Phipps Stakes, as well as the Manhattan Handicap
  • California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion, a special 30-minute documentary narrated by Bob Costas
  • Three hours of Belmont Classics highlighting past Belmont Stakes winners
  • A feature on California Chrome’s journey to the Triple Crown
  • Josh Elliott takes a look at Triple Crown spoilers of years past, including three consecutive Triple Crown upsets: 2002 winner Sarava (beat Triple Crown hopeful War Emblem), 2003 winner Empire Maker ridden by NBC analyst and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey (topped Triple Crown contender Funny Cide), and 2004 winner Birdstone (beat Triple Crown hopeful Smarty Jones)
  • A feature on the unlikely team of co-owners Steve Coburn and Perry Martin coming together with trainer Art Sherman and jockey Victor Espinoza to take their horse to the brink of the Triple Crown
  • Bob Costas’ essay on the elusive Triple Crown

NBCUNIVERSAL SURROUNDS BELMONT WEEK: TODAY, CNBC and The Weather Channel will provide live reports on-site at Belmont Park Friday, MSNBC will air live updates Friday and Saturday, and SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports will be on-site Wednesday through Friday. Correspondents and hosts on-site include Dylan Dreyer reporting live for TODAY, Stephanie Abrams for The Weather Channel’s Wake Up with AlSam Champion for The Weather Channel’s AMHQ with Sam Champion, CNBC’s Morgan Brennan, and SportsDash with Yahoo! Sports and NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno. NBC Sports Regional Networks will provide interviews and other Belmont-related content featuring NBC Sports Group’s on-air team throughout the week. On Friday, TODAY’s Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb toast to the Belmont Stakes with Belmont Jewel cocktails instead of their signature glasses of wine, The Dan Patrick Show features an interview with Belmont Stakes host Bob CostasE! News takes a behind-the-scenes look at the Belmont with Josh Elliott, and Access Hollywood provides a special Belmont feature. In addition, NBC Sports Radio will feature interviews with NBC Sports Group’s commentators during Belmont week.

COMMENTATORS: NBC Sports Group coverage of the Belmont Stakes features Bob Costas, a 26-time Emmy Award-winner, and veteran NBC Sports commentator Tom Hammond; analysts Randy Moss and Hall of Fame jockey Jerry Bailey; analysts/handicappers Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier; NBCSN host/NBC reporter Laffit Pincay, III; reporters Kenny RiceDonna Brothers and Jay Privman, and race caller Larry Collmus. In addition, Josh Elliott and Carolyn Manno will provide a mix of features and interviews at Belmont Park.

NBC Sports Group’s programming around the Belmont Stakes begins Wednesday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. ET with California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion and continues throughout the week.

Following is a full schedule of NBC Sports Group’s Belmont Stakes programming:

THE BELMONT STAKES

Date Time Event Network Wed., June 4 6:30 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion NBCSN Wed., June 4 10:30 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion (Encore) NBCSN Thurs., June 5 5:30 p.m. Belmont Classics (2002 Winner Sarava, 2003 Winner Empire Maker, 2004 Winner Birdstone) NBCSN, Live Extra Thurs., June 5 6:30 p.m. Belmont Classics (2011 Winner Ruler on Ice, 2012 Winner Union Rags, 2013 Winner Palace Malice) NBCSN, Live Extra Thurs., June 5 7:30 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion  NBCSN Fri., June 6 3:30 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion  NBCSN Fri., June 6 4 p.m. Belmont Classics (2002 Winner Sarava, 2003 Winner Empire Maker, 2004 Winner Birdstone) NBCSN Fri., June 6 5 p.m. Belmont Stakes Access NBCSN, Live Extra Fri., June 6 8 p.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion  NBCSN Fri., June 6 8:30 p.m. 140th Kentucky Derby NBCSN Fri., June 6 9:30 p.m. 139th Preakness Stakes NBCSN Fri., June 6 10:30 p.m. Belmont Stakes Access (Encore) NBCSN Fri., June 6 12 a.m. California Chrome: The Unlikely Champion  NBCSN Sat., June 7 2:30 p.m. Belmont Prep NBCSN, Live Extra Sat., June 7 4:30 p.m. The 146th Belmont Stakes NBC, Live Extra Sat., June 7 7:15 p.m. Stanley Cup Final - Game 2: N.Y. Rangers at Los Angeles NBC, Live Extra Sat., June 7 7:30 p.m. Belmont Post-Race Show NBCSN, Live Extra

 

NBC SPORTS LIVE EXTRA BELMONT STAKES COVERAGE

NBC Sports Live Extra — the NBC Sports Group’s live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices and tablets — will stream NBC and NBCSN’s Belmont Stakes coverage. The vast majority of the content will be streamed live via “TV Everywhere,” the media industry’s effort to make quality content available to authenticated customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

For desktops, NBC Sports Live Extra can be accessed at NBCSports.com/liveextra. The NBC Sports Live Extra app for mobile devices and tablets is available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, and on select Android handset and tablet devices within Google Play and on Windows 8 and Windows mobile devices.

Belmont Stakes coverage airing on NBCSN and NBC, including the running of the 146th Belmont Stakes, will be streamed to PCs, mobile devices and tablets through NBC Sports Live Extra.

NBC Sports Live Extra’s Belmont Stakes coverage includes:

  • An online-only isolation camera on Triple Crown contender California Chrome during the race
  • Exclusive analysis by NBC Sports commentators in the days leading up to the race plus post-race, online commentary by NBC commentators
  • Replays and highlights from the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes

Belmont Stakes coverage will also air on the digital platforms of participating cable, satellite, and telco services, via “TV Everywhere,” which is available on an authenticated basis to subscribers of participating MVPDs

BELMONT STAKES ALL-ACCESS

NBC Sports Group will implement its All-Access social media strategy for Belmont week, where horse racing fans can access content from the Belmont at a “social center” housed on NBCSports.com/Belmont. Fans can access and sort social media content from Instagram, Twitter and Vine through various streams including horse racing experts, horses (including the horses themselves, jockeys and trainers), a photos-only section and Vine videos. Belmont All-Access aggregates what’s trending around the race and what’s hot in the social world. In addition, fans can plug in their first and last names and will be given their ‘Horse Name’ to be shared on Twitter.

Twitter: Viewers and Tweeters alike will be encouraged to join the conversation by using the hashtag #TripleCrown. Reminders will appear on screen throughout all of NBC’s Belmont coverage.

  • On-air integration of live tweets from celebrities, horse racing experts and @NBCSN will be featured on screen throughout the broadcasts to keep viewers up to date with what’s happening on Twitter;

Facebook: Fans will have the chance to join in on the Belmont broadcast:

  • Everyone at home can pick their winner with the “Choose the Winning Horse” Facebook poll on www.facebook.com/NBCSports. The nation’s votes will be tallied and shown on-air during the Belmont broadcast.

For Listings and the NBCSN Channel Finder, visit http://www.nbcsports.com/tv-listings.

Sharapova moves to French Open semifinals

PARIS-- Maria Sharapova advanced to the semifinals of the French Open for the fourth straight year, beating Garbine Muguruza of Spain 1-6, 7-5, 6-1 Tuesday.

The seventh-seeded Russian made a slow start on Court Philippe Chatrier, falling behind 4-0 before finally winning a game. She then started to land her shots, and her serves, with more consistency and won nine of the last 10 games.

Muguruza, who was playing in a Grand Slam quarterfinal for the first time in her career, eliminated defending champion Serena Williams in the second round.

Sharapova lost in the semifinals at Roland Garros in 2011, then won the title a year later to complete a career Grand Slam. She lost in last year's final to Williams.v

10 things to watch in Stanley Cup finals

The Stanley Cup finals will be a coast-to-coast matchup featuring teams within the nation's largest TV markets: New York and Los Angeles.

It looks like a win-win deal for the NHL.

The Rangers will draw a lot of viewers tuning in to see if they can win a championship for the first time in two decades. The Kings, meanwhile, have a shot to win it all for the second time in three seasons in what would be an impressive feat because of the league's salary cap.

Here are 10 things to watch when the puck drops Wednesday night in Los Angeles:

MOTIVATED MARIAN: The Rangers traded Marian Gaborik 14 months ago to Columbus and now, they've got to face him as he's peaking. Gaborik has an NHL-high 12 goals this postseason and he ranks fourth with 19 points. He had the tying goal midway through the third period of Game 7 at Chicago, where the Kings won in overtime.

THANKS CBJ PART II: Gaborik is not the only former Blue Jackets player in the series. Columbus traded Jeff Carter to the Kings two years ago. The Blue Jackets sent Rick Nash to New York in the summer of 2012. And they dealt Derick Brassard, John Moore and Derek Dorsett to the Rangers last year.

QUICK TURNAROUND: Even though the Rangers have to hit the road to begin the series, they should be the fresher team. New York eliminated Montreal last Thursday, giving it almost a full week off before Game 1. The Kings, meanwhile, played late Sunday night in Chicago for their third Game 7 this postseason, traveled home and may not have much time to rest before the puck drops.

CALL IT A COMEBACK: The Kings might be the toughest team to knock out in sports. They're the only NHL team to win three Game 7s on the road in one postseason; the second to be 7-0 when facing elimination in one postseason; the fourth to rally from a 3-0 deficit in a seven-game series; and they didn't have the lead against Chicago in their latest decisive game until winning in overtime.

LATE LEAD USUALLY SAFE: The Rangers are 10-0 in the postseason when leading after two periods.

LUCKY NUMBER 7S: The Kings trio of Gaborik, Mike Richards and Justin Williams is 7-0 in Game 7s and goalie Jonathan Quick is 4-0 in decisive games. Williams has seven goals and seven assists in Game 7s, passing Doug Gilmour's NHL record for points and tying Glen Anderson for the most goals in league history in Game 7s. Los Angeles coach Darryl Sutter has surged past Scotty Bowman and Pat Burns for the most Game 7 victories - seven, naturally - in his career. If Sutter steers Los Angeles into another Game 7, it will be his 11th behind a bench to break a record shared by Mike Keenan and Claude Julien.

UP THE MIDDLE: The Kings appear to have a clear advantage at center. They've won 53 percent of faceoffs in the playoffs, trailing only Boston statistically, while the Rangers rank 12th out of the 16 playoff teams. Los Angeles has a pair of great centers, Anze Kopitar, and Carter, and two solid ones, Jarret Stoll and Mike Richards. The Rangers, meanwhile, don't appear to match up quite as well at the pivotal position with Derek Stepan, Brad Richards, Derick Brassard and Dominic Moore.

TWO-WAY BLUE LINERS: Los Angeles and New York each have a playmaking defenseman. Drew Doughty has four goals, 12 assists and as many points (16) as he had in the 2012 playoffs when he helped the Kings hoist the Cup. Ryan McDonagh leads the Rangers with 10 assists and he's tied for the team lead with 13 points.

IN THE NET: Quick and Henrik Lundqvist are not among the three finalists for the Vezina Trophy, but Quick won the Conn Smythe Trophy as the MVP of the playoffs in 2012 when Los Angeles won its first Stanley Cup and Lundqvist was voted the league's best goaltender that same year. Quick is giving up 2.86 goals a game this postseason and that's at least one more goal than he gave up on average in the previous two postseasons. Lundqvist is allowing just two goals a game and he blanked Montreal in Game 6 for his ninth career shutout in the playoffs.

LAST, NOT LEAST: Both teams roll four lines of forwards and when their final trio is on the ice it is not necessarily a break for the other team. Sutter does not label his lines, but Richards appears to his fourth-line center and Trevor Lewis and Kyle Clifford are usually on his wings. Richards ranked fourth on the team in points during the regular season and has chipped in with eight points in the playoffs. Moore centers New York's fourth line with Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett. Moore scored the only goal in Game 6 to eliminate the Canadiens and has three goals in the playoffs after scoring just six times in the regular season.

---

AP Sports Writers Greg Beacham and Ira Podell contributed to this report.

---

Follow Larry Lage on Twitter at www.Twitter.com/larrylage

Pages