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Preakness to feature 1st woman to produce Triple Crown race

This Thursday, May 13, 2021 image provided by NBC Sports Group shows Lindsay Schanzer. Lindsay Schanzer on Saturday will be the first woman to produce a Triple Crown telecast on site when the Preakness airs on NBC. Schanzer has had the added challenge of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failing a post-race drug test changing the story lines going into the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. (NBC Sports Group via AP)

This Thursday, May 13, 2021 image provided by NBC Sports Group shows Lindsay Schanzer. Lindsay Schanzer on Saturday will be the first woman to produce a Triple Crown telecast on site when the Preakness airs on NBC. Schanzer has had the added challenge of Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failing a post-race drug test changing the story lines going into the second leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. (NBC Sports Group via AP)

BALTIMORE — Lindsay Schanzer went to bed Saturday night confident about her plans to produce NBC’s Preakness broadcast. Then word emerged that Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit failed a postrace drug test.

“I probably went to sleep with a smile on my face and then woke up to a couple texts and then that smiled turned into something else,” Schanzer said. “It has challenged me, challenged our production team in a lot of ways, but we are always ready to adjust as news breaks and as the landscape changes.”

Schanzer will make television history at the Preakness when she becomes the first woman to produce a Triple Crown race live on site. The 32-year-old attended the Preakness a couple of times as a fan in college and now will lead NBC Sports’ production of the race many will be watching to see if Medina Spirit can keep Triple Crown hopes alive, albeit with a giant asterisk.

After breaking into the business as a runner and getting her feet wet as a stage manager in a commentators’ booth at Wimbledon, this is a Pimlico debut Schanzer won’t soon forget.

“I didn’t realistically expect that things wouldn’t change over the course of the week,” she said. “I just didn’t think it would be quite like this.”

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