Tom Hammond out of Breeders’ booth

Oct 22, 2002 7:18 AM

NBC sportscaster Tom Hammond, who probably could qualify for the designation, "Mr. Breeders’ Cup," since he has been behind the microphone for all 18 Breeders’ Cup broadcasts, will be absent come Saturday, Oct. 26.

According to Blood Horse magazine, Hammond is recovering from open heart surgery and although recovering well probably won’t be up to doing the telecast.

"I’m feeling pretty well, everything considered," he told the industry magazine last week. "I’m hoping to be go home today or tomorrow, but I probably won’t do the Breeders’ Cup telecast. The guys at NBC keep telling me not to try and be a hero because there are plenty of other programs coming up that they need me for. That was nice of them to say."

Among the backups being considered for the show were regulars Kenny Rice and Bob Neumeier and Santa Anita race-caller, Trevor Denman.