Moving Camera to Make Churchill Debut

A camera set-up used to show races at tracks such as Aintree, Epsom, Newmarket, and Royal Ascot is ready to be put to the test at Churchill Downs on Breeders' Cup Day by NBC Sports, which will broadcast the championship races.

The camera, or Gyrocam, will hang from carbon-fiber cables strung from towers at the top of the stretch and near the clubhouse turn. The camera, which can travel at a speed of up to 60 mph, will follow horses in the stretch and provide a side view similar to those at tracks with long straightaways in Great Britain.

Martin Burger, one of the point men for the project, said NBC producers will determine exactly which views are used and when, because there are "different ways to integrate it." He said the plan is to pick the horses up on the far turn, and follow them to the finish line. It's possible the camera could be used at the start of the Breeders' Cup Classic, a 1 1/4-mile event that starts in a small chute above the top of the stretch

The cables, or ropes, are made of Kevlar, a material used for bullet-proof vests. They hang over the apron seating area in front of the grandstand and clubhouse. On Tuesday, Burger said the crew was doublechecking the set-up and hoped to first test it when the public wasn't occupying the facility.