Horseracing

Conan brings humor to horse race

Television host Conan O'Brien comments on the binoculars of long-time track announcer Trevor Denman
Conan O'Brien calls a horse race at Santa Anita Park, the host track for the Breeders' Cup.
Television host Conan O'Brien, right, poses for a photo after calling a horse race at Santa Anita Park
Conan O'Brien, right, filled in for veteran caller Trevor Denman at Santa Anita Park.
Share This Story

   
 

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP)

Conan O'Brien brought his humor to the announcing booth on Friday at Santa Anita, calling a race that likely left fans wondering exactly which horse had won.

The late night comic took over from veteran caller Trevor Denman for the second race. O'Brien didn't have to pronounce any tongue twisters among the six horses running a mile on the dirt. He even smoothly handled the favorite's name, Sarangani.

That was the easy part.

Squinting through binoculars to describe what was unfolding proved much tougher in a sport that has its own unique lingo.

''I'm seeing a bunch of horses following Blue Collar Boy,'' O'Brien shouted. ''All horses look alike when you're not around horses a lot.''

He described the starting gate as ''the white thing.''

Later, he breathlessly told the crowd, ''I'm not seeing too well because my eyelashes are up against the binoculars and it's blocking my view.''

O'Brien admitted that he was thoroughly confused trying to identify the horses by the color of the jockeys' silks or ''costumes,'' as he called them.

''If you're going to have idiot celebrities come in and call a race, you can't have two guys in all blue and two guys in all white,'' he said. ''It's not fair.''

O'Brien said he had prepared by memorizing the numbers on the horses' saddle cloths. Denman told him minutes before the race that isn't how it's done.

''I had to completely forget everything,'' he said. ''It's like being told seconds before the SAT that it's going to be in German. I was horrified.''

O'Brien also got thrown for a loop when he was informed that his call would be broadcast overseas to tracks that carry Santa Anita's races, including Britain.

''We've angered them again,'' he joked. ''They're already mad about the NSA (National Security Agency) and now they're mad about this.''


During the race he told the crowd, ''The jockeys' bottoms are in the air, which is the way that jockeys ride horses. Bottoms high, that's the way to go, boys.''

He taped the bit to air later on his TBS show, ''Conan.''

Denman had his small booth overtaken by O'Brien's camera crew, and after they departed, he straightened a picture on the wall that had been knocked askew.

''It's unique,'' he said of O'Brien's performance. ''You will never, ever get any race call like that in the history of horse racing.''

It was an exciting two-horse race to the finish line, with Knucklebuster beating Blue Collar Boy by a half-length. He paid $18 for a $2 win bet.

A member of O'Brien's crew said he held two winning tickets on the race, and figured they were worth about $280.

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by


FOX SPORTS Videos

Why is LeSean McCoy practicing blindfolded? Posted: Aug 12, 2014
Donovan McNabb and Mike Garafolo talk Eagles RB 'Shady' McCoy.

Could Richie Incognito get another NFL job? Posted: Aug 12, 2014
Donovan McNabb and Mike Garafolo talk Richie Incognito.

Byron Scott: No Laker Can Beat Me In Horse - @TheBuzzeronFOX Posted: Aug 12, 2014
The Lakers new coach is still pretty confident in his shot. Kobe Bryant might ha...

Fox Sports Store