New York, N.Y. – March 21, 2013 – The Jockey Club, in collaboration with the NBC Sports Group, will kick off the Road to Kentucky Derby series with a 30-minute special previewing the Triple Crown season on Saturday, March 23, on the NBC Sports Network from 6 – 6:30 p.m. EDT.
The NBC Sports Network Channel Finder is located at nbcsports.msnbc.com.
The special, produced by America’s Best Racing, will provide a comprehensive look at the top contenders for the 2013 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands, as well as features on jockeys Gary Stevens and Rosie Napravnik, and the six recent college graduates who are now serving as “brand ambassadors” for America’s Best Racing.
The live racing telecasts commence on Saturday, March 30, with the Besilu Florida Derby from Gulfstream Park and the Louisiana Derby from Fair Grounds Race Course & Slots on NBC Sports Network from 6 – 7 p.m. EDT.
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. EDT.
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. EDT; the NBC Sports Network telecast will airfrom 6 – 7 p.m. EDT.
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.
America’s Best Racing, initiated and funded by The Jockey Club and promoted in association with NTRA Communications, is a multimedia fan development platform designed to increase the profile and visibility of North America’s best Thoroughbred racing events, with a primary focus on the sport’s lifestyle and competition. Additional information is available at followhorseracing.com.
The brand ambassadors are traveling around the country in an “ABRV” bus, promoting Thoroughbred racing’s lifestyle scene and premier events. The tour kicked off at the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, March 8-17.
–ABOUT THE JOCKEY CLUB–
THE JOCKEY CLUB: The Jockey Club, founded in 1894 and dedicated to the improvement of Thoroughbred racing and breeding, is the breed registry for North American Thoroughbreds. In fulfillment of its mission, The Jockey Club provides support and leadership on a wide range of important industry initiatives and it serves the information and technology needs of owners, breeders, media, fans and farms, among others. Additional information is available at jockeyclub.com.
–ABOUT NBC SPORTS GROUP—
NBC SPORTS GROUP AND HORSE RACING: The NBC Sports Group is the exclusive home to the most important and prestigious events in horse racing, including the Triple Crown and the Breeders’ Cup, which was broadcast on NBC from 1984-2005. NBC has been the exclusive home of the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness Stakes since 2001, and the Belmont Stakes since 2011, when the NBC Sports Group reassembled the Triple Crown. In 2012, the NBC Sports Group presented 27½ hours of Triple Crown coverage across NBC and NBC Sports Network.
NBC Sports Group is the home to “Summer at Saratoga,” and, in collaboration with The Jockey Club, the Road to the Kentucky Derby series that provides live coverage of six major prep races for the 2013 Kentucky Derby.
For more information about NBC Sports Group shows and properties, including press releases, photos, talent and executive bios and headshots, please visit NBCSportsGroupPressBox.com.