The series gives viewers at home a sense of the spectacle surrounding a day at the races, including snapshots of the fashion, food, famous faces and racing’s real “characters” – the fans – to draw viewers into the social scene that makes racetracks the ultimate source for entertainment.
Sweepstakes Offers Fans Opportunity for a Free $10,000 ‘DreamBet’ on Three Derby Preps.
NBC Sports’ “Road to the Kentucky Derby” enters the starting gate this Saturday with two graded stakes races featuring Thoroughbred horses vying for a spot in the Kentucky Derby (Saturday, May 1, 4 p.m. ET on NBC Sports). Live action from the Louisiana Derby in New Orleans, La., and the Lane’s End Stakes in Florence, Ky., begins Saturday at 5 p.m. ET on USA.
The hour-long broadcast will originate from Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots in New Orleans and is hosted by Tom Hammond alongside three-time Derby winner Gary Stevens. The NBC Sports broadcast team also includes reporters Kenny Rice and Donna Brothers from New Orleans with NBC Sports handicapper Mike Battaglia and horse racing analyst Jill Byrne providing additional coverage and analysis live from Turfway Park in Northern Kentucky.
Saturday’s coverage will include a special feature on well-known jockey – and Louisiana native – Robby Albarado, who, along with Donna Brothers, will take viewers to his favorite “Big Easy” haunts for a look inside New Orleans’ famed culinary scene.
STEVENS ON LOUISIANA DERBY: “Discreetly Mine is definitely a quality horse. He is coming off a huge run in the Risen Star and the Louisiana Derby will say a lot about his capabilities of going a mile-and-a-quarter. I also like Ron The Greek and think that he is a horse that is definitely going to move forward. He looks like he is just now getting set and is a horse that is on the rise.”
ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY: The newly launched “Road to the Kentucky Derby” television series, produced in partnership by NBC Sports and Churchill Downs Incorporated, will air the next three consecutive Saturdays with live coverage of six Derby prep races, key competitions that contenders must win to earn a coveted spot in the Kentucky Derby’s 20-horse starting gate.
The series will also give viewers at home a sense of the spectacle surrounding a day at the races, including snapshots of the fashion, food, famous faces and racing’s real “characters” – the fans – to draw viewers into the social scene that makes racetracks the ultimate source for entertainment. The shared vision of Churchill Downs and NBC Sports’ successful ‘Big Event Strategy’ led to the 2009 Kentucky Derby being the most viewed Derby in two decades with a 26 percent increase in viewers since this strategy was launched in 2007.
The broadcast schedule for the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series is as follows:
SATURDAY, MARCH 27 (USA Network, Fair Grounds, 5-6 p.m. ET):
Louisiana Derby, 1 1/8 miles, Fair Grounds
Lane’s End Stakes, 1 1/8 miles, Turfway Park
SATURDAY, APRIL 3 (NBC Sports, Santa Anita, 5-6 p.m. ET):
Santa Anita Derby, 1 1/8 miles, Santa Anita
Wood Memorial, 1 1/8 miles, Aqueduct
SATURDAY, APRIL 10 (NBC Sports, Keeneland, 5-6 p.m. ET):
Arkansas Derby, 1 1/8 miles, Oaklawn Park
Blue Grass Stakes, 1 1/8 miles, Keeneland
While viewers take in the action at home, on-track fans will have the chance to enjoy the “DreamBet” of a lifetime. Churchill Downs Incorporated will sponsor a special promotion at each of the broadcast host tracks for the “Road to the Kentucky Derby” series, allowing on-track patrons to enter a drawing for the opportunity for a free $10,000 wager on the broadcast host track’s race. A winning fan will be drawn at random during the course of the racing program at each broadcast host track. Churchill Downs will then place a $10,000 “win” wager on the horse the winning contestant at each host site selects in the following races:
Louisiana Derby at Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on March 27
Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park on April 3
Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland Race Course on April 10.
Viewers at home can watch to see if the contestant wins big as the race unfolds. For more information and to review official rules for each “DreamBet,” Sweepstakes visit www.KentuckyDerby.com/dreambet.
Louisiana Derby and Lane’s End Stakes to Air Live on USA
New Televised Kentucky Derby Prep Race Series to Air Over the Next Three Saturdays on USA Network and NBC