Goodwin veers away from track, but always finds her way back

MEDIA WATCH

May 14, 1999|By Milton Kent

Like the old Perry Como song, it seems impossible, somehow, that Kim Goodwin wouldn't be around a racetrack.

Since her schoolgirl days growing up on a Kentucky farm trying to ride the family's recalcitrant quarter horse to her nearly eight-year stint as Pimlico's track analyst, Goodwin, who will analyze tomorrow's race card during Channel 2's all-day Preakness show, has been at home around the ponies and fillies.

But, in an effort to find a new home in sports broadcasting 1 1/2 years ago, Goodwin, 31, left the one she knew, seeking to catch on in other sports, but going home to Kentucky.

"What is it they say, `the road less taken?' Well, I took the path frequently taken," said Goodwin. "There was no rhyme or reason to what I did. In the first six months after I left, I didn't watch a single race or read a Racing Form."

Instead, she took a crash course in hockey, serving as host of telecasts of the Kentucky Thoroughblades, a minor-league hockey team. But Goodwin -- a passionate baseball fan who is hoping to catch on to baseball and hockey telecast teams in Florida -- never completely severed her racing ties.

"I guess I'll always have some involvement in racing because it's been my passion forever," said Goodwin. "When people would say, `You're good at your [racing] job,' I would say, `Not really.' I finally figured out that I do know something about this and I should take advantage of this."

For the fourth straight year, Goodwin will be a central part of Channel 2's 8 1/2-hour extravaganza (beginning at 8 a.m.), a telecast, she says, that seems shorter than it did in 1996.

"The first year, it seemed really long, not because it wasn't enjoyable, but because it was a new thing," said Goodwin. "By the end of the day, I was exhausted. Now, it's a fun show to do and the races just seem to fly by."

What to expect

Both Goodwin and ABC/ESPN's Hank Goldberg expect things to get real cozy around the first turn. That's where the big bunch at the Kentucky Derby got up close and personal and with Pimlico's tighter turns, the Preakness could get even more compact.

"That's probably where the race will be won or lost. You can't make that big sweeping move on the first turn," said Goodwin. "Secretariat did it, but I don't think we're talking about Secretariat here."

While Goodwin says she's been impressed by Menifee, the early favorite, since his run in the Bluegrass Stakes, Goldberg, who will analyze the race for ABC, is intrigued by the Arabian-trained Worldly Manner, and is looking for him to "have a big race."

"The two unknowns going [into the Derby] were how good is Silverbulletday [who was scratched yesterday] and how good is Worldly Manner because of the unorthodox manner they [the trainers] got him ready for this race," said Goldberg. "As a 2-year-old, he was outstanding, and he was leading at the top of the stretch [at the Derby] without having a serious prep race. It's going to be a nice price."

Around the track

Curt Gowdy Jr., ABC's Emmy Award-winning coordinating producer, has been scratched from the network's production truck tomorrow because of a bad back.

David Kiviat, who has produced a number of the network's non-Triple Crown stakes races as well as racing shows for ESPN, gets the call for the 90-minute telecast (Channel 2, 4: 30 p.m.), and is looking forward to the extra space.

"It's nice to have the time. It's nice not to be rushed. You have a lot of things happening leading up to the race, and it's nice to be able to do them justice," said Kiviat.

Speaking of space, Kiviat said the network has planned features on the controversy over the size of the Derby field and the rough ride some horses got, as well as on Chris Antley, who rode Charismatic to victory in Kentucky two weeks ago.

As always, Jim McKay and Al Michaels will co-anchor the ABC telecast, with Dave Johnson calling the race, and Lesley Visser and Charlsie Cantey reporting.

Around the dial

WBAL (1090 AM) will have radio coverage of the race, beginning at 11 a.m., with a squadron of reporters stationed around Old Hilltop. Meanwhile, William Newman will be host of a Preakness special this evening at 5: 30 p.m. on WBGR (860 AM), and Jerry Coleman's new talk show, "A Closer Look," will have a race theme when it airs tomorrow at noon on Home Team Sports.

Former Baltimore sports television anchor Nick Charles has a couple of interesting "Page One" programs for CNN this weekend. Tomorrow's show, at 11: 30 a.m., includes an interview with Antley, as well as a piece on the always classy Joe Dumars of the Detroit Pistons, playing in his last playoffs. Sunday's program, airing at 10 a.m., includes a feature on New York Knicks guard Charlie Ward and his religious beliefs.

Finally, if you need a break from racing horses, CBS (Channel 13) will have taped coverage of the Oregon Classic tomorrow (2 p.m.) with racing humans. And NBC (Channel 11) has six production trucks positioned all over the country to cover the NBA playoffs this weekend. Stay tuned for times and teams.

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