Jockey Club, NBC Sports Announce Coverage of 2013 ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY
Back to the Article
by TV News Desk
The Jockey Club, in collaboration with the NBC Sports Group and six racetracks, will provide live coverage of six major prep races for the 2013 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands, as well as a 30-minute special previewing the Triple Crown season during the last two Saturdays in March and the first two Saturdays in April, it was announced today.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby series starts with a 30-minute special previewing the televised races and the Triple Crown season. The special will air on the NBC Sports Network on Saturday, March 23, from 6 - 6:30 p.m. ET.
The Wood Memorial from Aqueduct Racetrack and the Santa Anita Derby from Santa Anita Park will air on NBC Sports Network on Saturday, April 6, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. ET.
The series will conclude on Saturday, April 13, with two and half hours of continuous coverage spread across two networks.
A 90-minute live broadcast on NBC featuring the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland Race Course will be followed by a one-hour broadcast on the NBC Sports Network featuring the Arkansas Derby. The NBC telecast will air from 4:30 - 6 p.m. ET; the NBC Sports Network telecast will airfrom 6 - 7 p.m. ET.
All six races fall into the highest tier on Churchill Downs' new points system to determine starters for the 139th running of the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 4, on NBC. The points system features 36 stakes races overall and 17 marquee events for 3-year-old Thoroughbreds that comprise a 10-week run up to the first Saturday in May.
"The Jockey Club is committed to bringing some of our sport's best races to a national television audience, and we are proud to be underwriting the Road to the Kentucky Derby again this spring in collaboration with the NBC Sports Group and six racetracks," said Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club. "Increasing the television presence of Thoroughbred racing is one of the fan development initiatives we have embraced over the past 18 months, and we will continue to aggressively cross-promote Thoroughbred racing not only on television but also on a variety of traditional and new digital media platforms."
"These important prep races build excitement and interest in the Kentucky Derby and they also complement the NBC Sports Group's coverage of the sport of Thoroughbred racing, which already includes long-term deals for the Triple Crown races and Breeders' Cup as well as races from Saratoga," said Jon Miller, president, programming, NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.
ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY COVERAGE (All Times ET)
Tim Bryant, president, Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots: "The Louisiana Derby has become more important than ever in the last three years since we raised the purse to $1 million and shifted the date to serve as a final Kentucky Derby prep. This year, we celebrate the race's 100thrunning with a new Infield Festival to complement the richest day of Thoroughbred racing ever run in Louisiana. We look forward to sharing our version of Southern hospitality with a national television audience."
Rodnell Workman, vice president and chief marketing officer, New York Racing Association: "NYRA is once again thrilled to be a part of the NBC Sports Group's Road to the Kentucky Derby series. Nationally televising the 2013 renewal of Aqueduct's Wood Memorial, and all of these important prep races, is great exposure for racing and we're looking forward to working with the NBC Sports Group on this year's broadcast."
Bill Thomason, president and chief executive officer, Keeneland Association: "Keeneland is very excited to showcase the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes to a national television audience. We applaud The Jockey Club's strategic initiative to create exposure for racing and give fans the opportunity to become familiar with its stars."
ABOUT THE JOCKEY CLUB