Road To The Kentucky Derby on NBC 2018
The Road to the Kentucky Derby will be back on NBC in 2018, announced by the Jockey Club and NBC Sports Group. Six racetracks will provide live coverage for six Kentucky Derby prep races for the 2018 Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands. Also included will be a half hour special preview of the 2018 Triple Crown season consisting of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes. Watch the Triple Crown preview special on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m.ET.
“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 of NBC Sports and NBC Sports Network.
Watch live horse racing on NBC starting on April 1st with the Florida Derby at Gulfstream Park on NBC Sports Network starting at 6 p.m. ET.
The Road to the Kentucky Derby will continue on April 8th at Aqueduct Racetrack with the Wood Memorial and the Santa Anita Derby at Santa Anita Park on NBC Sports Network at 6 p.m. ET.
The new Kentucky Derby Points System that is being used this year will award the highest points given for each of the six races. These six races are part of the Kentucky Derby Championship Series which will award 100 points for a win, 40 points for a place, 20 points for a show and 10 points for the horse that rounds out the superfecta and finishes in 4th place.
Road to the Kentucky Derby preview show
Saturday, April 1, 2018, 6 – 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Florida Derby (Gulfstream Park)
Saturday, April 8, 2018, 5:30 p.m – 7:30 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Wood Memorial (Aqueduct Racetrack) and Santa Anita Derby (Santa Anita Park)
Saturday, April 8, 2018, 4:30 – 6 p.m. (NBC)
Blue Grass Stakes (Keeneland)
Saturday, April 15, 2018, 6 – 7 p.m. (NBC Sports Network)
Arkansas Derby (Oaklawn Park)
QUOTES FROM RACETRACK REPRESENTATIVES:
Mike Rogers, president of The Stronach Group, Racing Division: “The Stronach Group is pleased that two of its signature events, the Florida Derby and the Santa Anita Derby, will be part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby, presented by The Jockey Club and NBC Sports Group. We look forward to having our world-class facilities at both Santa Anita Park and Gulfstream Park showcased on these historic days. We also look forward to watching the many Derby contenders stabled and training throughout The Stronach Group properties taking part in these exciting races in the weeks leading up to the Triple Crown.”
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 100th running 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 2018 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.”
Charles J. Cella, president, Oaklawn Park: “We appreciate The Jockey Club and the NBC Sports Group offering us a platform to showcase the $1 million Arkansas Derby to a national audience. This race has had a significant impact on the Triple Crown over the years with so many great horses, such as Sunny’s Halo, Pine Bluff, Smarty Jones and Curlin, and we’re excited to see who emerges this year.”