|Contact: Eric Wing, NTRA, (212) 907-9283
Cameron Blanchard, NBC, (212) 664-7202
Jeff Shapes, Conover Tuttle, (203) 249-9202
NBC SPORTS KICKS OFF COVERAGE OF 2003 VISA TRIPLE CROWN WITH APRIL 12 TELECAST OF "NTRA ROAD TO THE KENTUCKY DERBY"
With an eye towards the 2003 VISA Triple Crown and its first jewel, the May 3 running of the 129th Kentucky Derby, NBC Sports will kick off its coverage of horseracing’s three-year-old scene on Saturday, April 12, with the 90-minute telecast of "NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby." The show will air from 4:30-6:00 p.m. (ET) and will feature live coverage of the Grade I, $750,000 Toyota Blue Grass Stakes from Keeneland Racecourse in Lexington, Ky., the Grade II, $500,000 Arkansas Derby from Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs, Ark., and a recap of the Grade I, $750,000 Wood Memorial from New York's Aqueduct Racetrack.
The program will also present highlights of the 2003 Triple Crown prep season and an in-depth preview of the upcoming Run for the Roses. The telecast will feature NBC’s Triple Crown broadcast lineup: host Tom Hammond, analysts Mike Battaglia and Bob Neumeier, commentator Charlsie Cantey and reporter Kenny Rice.
"In addition to showing three crucial Kentucky Derby prep races, the NBC telecast will offer viewers a comprehensive look at virtually every Derby contender," said Tim Smith, Commissioner of the NTRA. "By the end of the program, even casual fans should be fully up to speed on the horses and horsemen expected to make their presence felt in Louisville."
"NTRA Road to the Kentucky Derby" culminates two and one-half hours of two-network live racing coverage on April 12 that begins at 3:30 p.m. with a one-hour telecast of "CITGO Racing to the Kentucky Derby" on ESPN. The ESPN program will present live coverage of the Wood Memorial, along with the seven-furlong Bay Shore stakes from Aqueduct.
The NTRA is a broad-based coalition of horseracing interests, including the American Quarter Horse Association, charged with increasing popularity of horseracing and improving economic conditions for industry participants. The NTRA and Breeders’ Cup Limited also conduct the Breeders’ Cup World Thoroughbred Championships, Thoroughbred racing’s year-end Championships consisting of eight races and $13 million in purses and awards, the Breeders’ Cup Stakes Program and the Great State Challenge. The NTRA has offices in Lexington, Ky., and New York City. NTRA press releases appear on the NTRA Web site, ntra.com.
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