A year ago, when Seabiscuit was looming on the summer schedule, many people in the racing business were predicting that the movie would be a powerful promotional tool. Attendance didn't skyrocket immediately, but the Seabiscuit effect may be just now taking hold. TV ratings for NBC's broadcast of the Kentucky Derby were up 22%. And last Saturday, with Smarty Jones emerging as a Seabiscuit-ish people's champ, the Preakness scored an overnight Nielsen of 7.2, a 29% increase over last year's race. Alas, what the audience saw wasn't necessarily NBC's finest hour and a half: After Imperialism lost a shoe, causing a delay of the race, reporters Kenny Rice and Bob Neumeier asked trainer Kristin Mulhall the same question—"What happened?"—within six minutes of each other. Still, there were a few fine touches, including a moving feature on Robert Camac, Smarty's first trainer, who I was murdered by his stepson in 2001. Whatever the network is planning for the June 5 Belmont, another strong rating is certain.