"Well, Bob, what a great day for the commonwealth of Kentucky and the world. On behalf of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, Long John Silver's and A&W, Yum Brands is the proud sponsor of the greatest event in the world. Thank you very much," he said, ticking off Yum's brand names.
By the time Mr. Novak spoke, though, bloggers, reporters and NBC itself were already telling of the collapse of Eight Belles, who broke down after finishing second and was euthanized.
Online commenters pilloried Yum for its seeming insensitivity.
"Based on the YUM reps' disgraceful smiling and product plugging — while Eight Belles was dying yards away from them — I'll never buy ANY of their products again," wrote one.
"I'm happy that the CEO of Yum is just smiling and not even caring that a horse was just killed on the track," wrote another.