NBC's Olczyk likes Wicked Strong to win Travers
NHL on NBC analyst Eddie Olczyk will be part of NBC's Travers Stakes telecast on Saturday. The broadcast, which will include the Ballerina Stakes, begins at 4:30 p.m. and will be seen on WNYT (Ch. 13).
Olczyk played 16 years in the NHL and won a Stanley Cup with the New York Rangers in 1994. He has been a big fan of horse racing. On Thursday, I spoke with Olczyk about his horse racing background and how that played a role in the start of his broadcast career while he was with the Rangers. The story will appear in Saturday's Daily Gazette, both in print and online.
I asked Olczyk what horse he liked to win the Travers, and he chose Wicked Strong.
"I really liked the way Wicked Strong won that race in the Jim Dandy," Olczyk said. "We were at the Haskell that weekend, so we got a chance to see that race the day before. Being that close to the pace, and you have to think the blinkers had a quite a bit to do with that. It was a tremendous equipment change.
"I don't think there's any doubt Bayern is going to be the horse. Can he run that far two turns? I know he did it at Monmouth, but we all know, as handicappers, is that type of track certainly suits that type of player. My question is whether or not Bayern can go the distance. I'm saying he can't. Can he hit the board? Sure, because he might open up a big enough lead.
"But Wicked Strong, coming off that last race, and we know he can go the distance, will be sitting in a really perfect trip."